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Thought for the New Year

As we stand at the gate of the new year, no one knows what 2021 will bring, just as no one could have anticipated an unprecedented 2020, with the global pandemic and all the disruption and extreme challenges in its wake. What we do know is that 2021 will bring its highs and its lows: There will be challenges and new opportunities, there will be times of joy and happiness, but also times of sadness and uncertainties. There will be fresh visions and newness of life, but also stalemate and disillusionment.

We certainly don’t hold the key to the future in our hands and so can’t lock or unlock what happens, yet, we can know and put our trust in the God who holds the key to the future in his hands. As we journey in 2021, we can choose to consciously focus on the positives, finding and celebrating the good and helpful things; it will be worth it in the end. Have faith, be hopeful and joyful for the same God who raised Jesus from the dead, will extend his faithful care to everyday of the New Year (Ephesians 1:15-20): He will be there to shower us with his love and acceptance. He will be there in our times of happiness and fulfilment. He will be there to help us experience hope in the face of despair, light in the face of darkness, assurance in the face of uncertainties. We can confidently say as the psalmist: I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life (Psalm 23:6).

Below is a poem that I find helpful:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown’.

And he replied:

‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’.

So, I went forth, and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day 

(The Gate of the Year, Minnie Louise Haskins, 1875-1957)

Praying you have a good, healthy and blessed 2021

Irene John