As we come to the end of another year we will probably read articles and watch television programmes that review the previous 12 months. I often enjoy watching television reviews of the year, especially the sporting ones. It is amazing how quickly you can forget sporting events that occurred several months ago and enjoy watching them again.
This year has obviously been a very difficult and different one for most people. The word unprecedented has been used many times to describe it. I expect most of us will be glad to see the back of it. Perhaps we hope to wake up on 1 January 2021 and discover that 2020 has just been one bad nightmare!
When reviewing and reflecting over this past year there will be both good and bad memories for all of us. There will be things that bring a smile to our face but mixed with these there will also be events that make us feel sad too. Looking back honestly normally involves laughter and tears.
When looking back we will remember our sins and mistakes of the last 12 months. These sins can spiritually cripple us if we constantly dwell on them. Instead of lingering on them we need to confess our sins to God, forsake them and receive the wonderful forgiveness that Christ Jesus offers us.
We will recall opportunities that presented themselves to us. Some of these we took but others we missed. Those missed opportunities will not return to us and this could cause us to despair. There is nothing to be gained by constantly beating ourselves up, wishing we could turn the clock back and change events. We cannot change the past. The past is the past. It is gone. Instead of despairing we must put those wasted opportunities into God’s hands and then leave them in His hands.
On thinking about the new year perhaps we are excited about the future or maybe we are very worried. None of us know what the next 12 months will bring. We hope that it will be better than the previous 12 months, but we cannot guarantee that.
We can pray about the future and make plans. However as we have seen this year sometimes unexpected events occur preventing these plans from being fulfilled. Therefore, as we face the future we need to have open hands and commit our future into God’s hands, not worrying but trusting Him to work out His good purposes in our lives.
The above thoughts are inspired by a reflection written by Oswald Chambers and I shall conclude by a direct quote from it: