Well 2016 is drawing to a close and what a year it has been! I have no doubt that many people will reflect on the number of celebrities that have passed away during the year and, I know, many others have faced their own struggles. But, has 2016 really been a bad year and will 2017 be any better?
I read an interesting post by Jeff Lucas yesterday which helped me put 2016 into perspective
While not denying that our headlines have been dominated by the loss of celebs recently (and the pain that this has bought to their families), this had led to a rather superstitious response. There’s been lots of social media chatter about 2016 being a personalized force which is rather keen on dispatching well known persons. And of course 2017 will be welcomed as an unsullied agent of rescue and a harbinger of hope. Just to say that a year is nothing more than a collection of dates. It has no living personality or ability to control events. Just saying.
(Jeff Lucas – Facebook Post 29th Dec 2016)
I believe he is right. Any “year” is just a collection of dates. In part, our perspective of a year is shaped by what the headline writers report and our response to it. It is also shaped by our circumstances and our response to them.
When God told the prophet Habakkuk that the people of Judah were going to face a really tough time, Habakkuk’s response was one that I think we can learn from;
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
(Habakkuk 3 vs. 17 – 19)
The headlines and circumstances do not matter, what shapes a year is our response. Habakkuk’s response was to keep his eyes fixed on God.
So, what will 2017 be like? Whatever happens, I pray that it will be a year of blessing for you and that, like Habakkuk, you will keep your eyes on God.