The path of the past year is ending. We can look back at what has passed and recall the happy moments, the unanticipated joys, the good news that arrived like refreshing waters to a thirsty soul.1 Then again, we may also heave a sigh of relief that the troubles of the past year have finally come to an end.2 In between those high and low points, there were the average days when nothing out of the ordinary happened.
The year is closed, the record made
The last deed done, the last word said,
The memory alone remains
Of all its joys, its grief, its gains
And now with purpose full and clear,
We turn to meet another year.
—Robert Browning (1812–1889)
The new year is about to begin, and undoubtedly it will be sprinkled with happy moments, joy, good news, some troubles, and many ordinary days. While we might be anticipating some major events, such as a new job, a move to a new home, the arrival of a new baby, most aspects of our future are hidden from our sight, as an old proverb wisely says: “The veil that hides the future from us is woven by an angel of mercy.”
I see not a step before me as I tread on another year; but I’ve left the past in God’s keeping—the future His mercy shall clear; and what looks dark in the distance may brighten as I draw near.
—Mary Gardiner Brainard (1837–1905)
And what of right now? God is here with us in the present, just as He was in the past and will be in the future. Let’s finish this year by acknowledging the One who is the beginning and the end3 and will be with us always: at the start, at the finish, and all the way through.4
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
—Psalm 16:11 NIV
Dear God, I thank You for the passing of another year, for the laughter and the tears, for the breath of the wind, the sunshine and the rain. Help me to embrace the challenges of the coming year with faith that You will see me through, as You have promised.