Among the astonishing ways that God displayed His glory in creation was the whole complex gravitational relationships between the earth, its moon and the sun. Here we are, a massive orb, floating (on nothing!) in a predictable circuit around the sun, year after year! I’m told that the brightest astrophysicists in the world remain puzzled regarding what exactly gravity is and have little explanation for what causes it to work as it does. That just makes me smile. How very great is our God! Genesis 1:14 tells us that this whole cosmic system exists as a means of marking out time — ” . . . let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years.” There’s such grace in this. Jesus encourages us not to busy our minds over the uncertainties of the future. “Do not”, He said, “be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34) Were we forced to chart a course for the next year, considering all the contingencies and uncertainties, we would be swept under. Years overwhelm us. So, our Lord gave us days. And, to that end, each night, our Lord turns the lights out and puts us all to bed, “giving His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2). That’s sweet, isn’t it? David said, “I will lie down and sleep in peace for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8). The seasons, likewise, testify to God’s unshakable sovereignty. So, we sing, “Summer and Winter and Springtime and Harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness, to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”
In time, God would establish yearly festivals as a means of enforced reflection and remembrance.
- Don’t forget your deliverance.
- Don’t forget My promise.
- Don’t forget I fed you in the wilderness.
- Don’t forget that all you have you were given.
- Don’t forget a perfect Sacrifice will come.
God seems set on a regular pattern of pausing and collectively reflecting. It is good that we would “number our days, that we might apply our hearts to wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Our memories are simply not reliable, so times of disciplined remembrance are necessary. It’s why we commune so often. The beginning of a new year seems to be a perfect time to recount God’s mercies — mercies, apart from which, we would be “consumed” (Lamentations 3:22). Consider how He has fed you — how He has shielded you from all that your sins have earned you. Think of the many common graces you’ve enjoyed over these months — laughter, meals, music, beauty, coffee, art, a great story, etc.
It is good to look back in gratitude. It is also good to look forward in faith. We may confidently settle this in our minds: the same rock-solid faithfulness that has carried us these past twelve months will surely sustain us over the coming twelve. Our very lives are held by the One who choreographed the primordial planetary waltz, sustained it since Eden and will insure, by His decree, that our floating home turn another pirouette today. Breathe easy, Christian. Let that truth steady you as you enter a new year. You are well-cared-for. As you’re praising God for His unfailing care throughout 2013, you might also offer high praises that the same trustworthy, loyal love will be your every-day companion throughout 2014. He is good — so very, very good. So, Happy New Year, everyone! Your wise, strong and capable God has everything well in hand!