The ball drops in New Yorks Times Square. The crowd counts down to Big Ben chiming. Sydney Harbor erupts in fireworks. However your city marks it, theres something exciting about welcoming in a new year and the fresh start it brings. On New Years Day we push out into new waters. What friendships and opportunities might we find?
For all its excitement, though, a new year can be unsettling. None of us knows the future or what storms it may hold. Many New Years traditions reflect this: Fireworks were invented in China to supposedly ward off evil spirits and make a new season prosperous. And New Years resolutions date back to the Babylonians who made vows to appease their gods. Such acts were an attempt to make an unknown future secure.
When they werent making vows, the Babylonians were busy conquering peopleincluding Israel. In time, God sent the enslaved Jews this message: Do not fear . . . . When you pass through the waters, I will be with you (Isaiah 43:12). Later, Jesus said something similar when He and the disciples were caught sailing in a violent storm. Why are you so afraid? He told them before commanding the waters to be still (Matthew 8:2327).
Today we push out from the shore into new, uncharted waters. Whatever we face, Hes with usand He has the power to calm the waves.