Diets. Exercise. Stressing less.
Every year people resolve to eat better, get fit and look after themselves. They set goals – realistic or otherwise – that reveal their hopes for the year that lies ahead.
But for some of us, the coming of the new year is not heralded by fireworks and champagne. It is haunted by doubts, questions and fears.
What will this year bring?
What else will go wrong?
Will this end in disaster?
Will I be able to cope?
For some of us, the new year is haunted by doubts, questions and fears.
We are plagued by What-Ifs. What if the car breaks down. What if I cannot afford to pay my bills. What if, what if, what if.
For single people, they may have particular worries about potential relationships ahead and the hazards thereof.
Childless people may wonder if this is the year of the baby – or the year of letting go.
Those of us with health concerns may fret over worsening symptoms and decisions that need to be made.
There are lots of opportunities for us to worry. If we are not careful, worry will overtake our day-to-day living. It will become all-consuming.
If we are not careful, worry will overtake our day-to-day living.
I know what that is like.
As I face this new year, I confront the increasing possibility of new medical procedures and maybe even surgery. And even though I know the Lord is with me, and that he tells me not to worry, I would be lying if I said I was worry-free right now.
Some things in life are scary.
It was Nelson Mandela who said that “courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it”. A courageous person is not necessarily fear-free. A courageous person feels their fear and faces it anyway.
”Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
And perhaps that is the key. Feeling our fear, rather than avoiding it. Not minimising it. Not pretending it will be ok. Being honest about how much the future frightens us. That takes real courage.
And talking to God about it. God says to cast our cares upon him, for he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). I can do that. I can throw my fears in his direction.
I do not know what will happen. I do not know if God will completely remove the fears that I hold for this year. He may let me feel the fear, fully experience it, in order to face it.
But this I know. He cares for me. He is here. He is with me.
Instead of clinging to my What-Ifs and my worst-case scenarios and my anxieties, I will cling to this:
“I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.” (Psalm 63:8 MSG)
”I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.”
If you are facing the terror of the unknown this year, join me in clinging to God. That is where I will be.
What are you facing this year? What are you clinging to? Are there any worries you can toss in God’s direction? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.