Happy New Year! The Holiday Season is officially coming to an end as many of us prepare for the upcoming Spring semester.
There’s something so exciting about the beginning of a new year. Many people view this as a time to replace bad habits with good ones, to make and build new relationships, and to achieve goals we had always wanted to achieve. But what is it about this time of year that makes us so optimistic and expectant about what’s to come?
Since the very beginning, God instilled a desire in humans to always want something more. The time we spend here on earth is not meant to completely satisfy and fulfill us, rather, it is to prepare us for what our souls truly long for: an eternity spent with God in heaven. It is because of this, that we have this profound sense of anticipation and hope for the future.
In the book of Psalm, we read,
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you my whole being longs for you, in a day and parched land where there is no water. (NIV Psalm 63:1).
We might not be in the literal Desert of Judah as David was when he said this, but, to a certain extent, we are in a consistent state of thirst. Our souls long to be with Jesus, even when we aren’t consciously aware of it, because of our desire for something more than what this earth could ever give us.
In the Jewish Culture, the new year is celebrated in the Fall and they call it Rosh Hashana. It is a time of repentance and of celebration. Some would say that it is viewed as a time to start over with God and a have new, clean slate.
In many ways, I think this is a good outlook on our New Year holiday as well. It’s a time for us to reflect on the past year and think of how we can try to do and be better in the new year. It’s a time for us to have a clean slate.
Although we can always have the opportunity for a clean slate (because of Jesus), the new year is a great time to regain our anticipation for the new things that God will do. When I hear all the rejoicing throughout our whole world because of a holiday called New Year's, I remember that the word "rejoice" basically means to return to the source of joy. The source of my joy, and of everything that’s good, is always God. With each new year passing, we can be more encouraged that the best truly is yet to come. We can be inspired by our renewed trust and hope in the words of Jesus in the book of Revelation as He says, “[…], ‘I am making everything new!’” (NIV Rev. 21:5).
Looking Forward to a New Year Spent with My Source of Joy