The turning of a new year brings with it the memories of the old. Every year, but it seems especially true this year, people around the world rejoice that the year is gone and a fresh start begins. We bid 2016 adieu and welcome 2017 with open arms and eyes full of hope. But while we should hope for the future, and release and learn from the past, we must remember that just as we have already lived the year we celebrate on our birthdays and so turn only one day older, so too does the calendar flipping from December 31 to January 1 bring with it little more than 24 hours more experience.
Wishing 2016 away doesn’t work when you wake up on 2017 hearing of another attack, a loved one’s unexpected diagnosis, or even when your favorite sports team loses. For some 2017 came in while their hearts were still full of sorrow. But the greatest sorrow comes if they have to wait until 2018 to live with hope and joy again.
Every day holds the promise of renewal. All of God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
2016 was packed full. By December 31 spring was a distant memory, even summer had faded. I forgot about Rio in the shadow of the election. I forgot we bought a house this year until I saw a picture of my husband signing the papers on my Instagram feed. 366 days labeled 2016 are over. Hundreds of days of 2017 are ahead. But the only one that truly matters is the one I am in. This day. This moment.
Reflect on 2016. Learn from it. And tomorrow? Reflect on today. Learn from it. Embrace the new day and God’s fresh mercies. For even when the day begins with sorrow, or ends with sorrow, and the next day doesn’t look any better, He is faithful. He is with you.
I pray you find peace, joy, and abundant life. Every day.