but the earth lasts forever.
The sun rises, and the sun sets,
and then it rushes back to the place where it will rise again." --Ecclesiastes 1:4-5
The circle of life is like a merry-go-round. As we begin another year, we have twirled through 2016, repeating months, seasons, birthdays, holidays, ending one cycle in time and starting another. This is a good picture of a continuum that God set into motion at creation, and a reality that we live out each day as a small spot in the timeline of eternity. You might not feel encouraged by the thought of life as a merry-go-round, since it implies going around the same path over and over again. But there is great reassurance in continuity and repetition. Think about it. Nothing changes on a merry-go-round. It may spin faster or slower, but it repeats in a consistent, never-ending circle.
In a similar way, God speaks a word of even greater consistency: "For I, the Lord, do not change..." (Malachi 3:6) The same continuity also describes the Son: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
As we ride this merry-go-round called life, we may often feel as if its trials fling us mercilessly off the spinning circle, casting us into realms of fear, doubt and uncertainty. It is during those times of change that we must cling to the consistency of the Father and the certainty of His Son. Every year, we experience a changing calendar, but we trust in an unchanging God. Instead of making a New Year's resolution, keep trusting in Jesus--the steadfast solution to every problem, every heartache, every trauma, every hurt that comes around again and again in your life. Riding a merry-go-round is just another opportunity to hang on tightly to the One who spins each planet on its axis and calls the stars by name. "But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day." (Joshua 23:8) Will you trust Him for EVERY situation in your life this year? Only then will the new year be a happy one, because you will be filled with His joy!
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy," (1 Pt 1:8)
Heavenly Father, in this new year, even if life seems to spin out of control at times, remind me that You are the one who holds it all--even me, in the palm of your loving hand. Help me to fix my eyes upon Jesus, Your one and only Son who was fixed upon the cross for me, and rose again to secure my eternity through faith and trust in Him. Amen.