While thinking about what lies ahead, I remember an event described in the Old Testament. The people arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, knowing they must cross it in order to enter the land God had promised to their fathers. Surely fear seized them as they saw the Jordan River at flood stage and as they remembered the stories of the formidable foes living on the other side of those rushing waters.
Having to camp there for three days must have increased their anxiety, causing them to welcome the instructions given to them:
When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about a half mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don't come any closer. (Joshua 3:3-4 New Living Translation)
Like the Israelites, I, too, have not passed "this way" before. As I stand on the brink of a new year, I do not know what lies ahead. I do not know what paths I'll have to take in order to get to the place of blessing to which God wants to lead me. I do not know what formidable foes await me.
But, the instructions the Israelites received will work for me. I, too, must follow wherever God leads. I, too, must make sure I keep my eyes on the Word of God and let it be my guide.
Even though I don't know what lies ahead, my faith is strengthened as I review my old calendar. Seeing the variety of events that occurred last year reminds me that God helped me in the past. Since the eternal God "is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8 NLT), I can be fully assured that the God who has been faithful to me in the past will continue to be so in the New Year.
Hopefully, I'll experience many happy moments in the New Year, but I'm expecting some struggles, too, for life brings some to everyone. Knowing I'll encounter challenges and hardships, I receive comfort from this quote someone e-mailed me: "If God brings you to it, He will see you through it."
Actually, it applies to all of the events God allows. When He provides great blessing, I'll need Him to help me handle them properly, just as I'll need Him to help me cope with the points and places of pain.
So, as I prepare my calendar for the New Year, I do so with assurance that the God who loves me will be with me ... wherever He leads and whatever He allows.