By Rick James
How are you feeling as you enter this New Year?
For me the end of 2021 felt pretty rubbish with family Christmas visits and celebrations largely cancelled and the sudden death of the 5-year old son of a close friend. I feel very tempted to enter 2022 in fear and frustration. Life is not quite as smooth and comfortable as I imagined.
But what if life is not meant to be easy? Maybe my expectation of life – like a warm summer’s day – is all wrong. What if our time on earth is more like living at night-time, yearning for dawn? There’s certainly a lot of darkness around us, but also glimpses of joy and hope, like stars. There’s sometimes even a full-moon that powerfully reflects the sun.
It reminds me of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24 13 – 33), who went away from Jerusalem downcast in their profound grief and painful destruction of their dreams. But walking with and talking with Jesus, while the circumstances remained the same, their understanding of them was transformed. Joy and hope bubbled up as ‘their hearts burned within them’.
So as we start 2022, think about:
Where do you see God already at work? What is going well?
What is Jesus saying to you as you talk with him through the disappointments of 2021?