out with ’08, in with ’09

I was chatting with a friend over tea this afternoon, and she’s had one heck of a 2008. Many different layers of difficulties and trials. She said that she’s ready for 2008 to go. And then we were imagining together what it would be like if truly every bad part of the old year really did go out with the flip of the calendar. Old wounds instantly healed; chronic health problems solved; broken families put back together; destructive consequences of our sin and brokenness erased. Imagine … isn’t that an almost too-good-to-be-true thought?

And it is too good to be true while we yet remain on the earth. Tomorrow might actually feel new for a few minutes, hours, perhaps even days (certainly when my gym is crowded again with the “new year’s resolution crowd”). The calendar will display a new set of pictures. I’ll still be enjoying my new computer (I’m a big fan of MacBooks now). Reflecting on 2008 will bring new insights for 2009. And dreaming/wishing/hoping about 2009 will bring new energy to my focus, goals, and endeavors.

But I’ll still be struggling with how to love the unlovable, how to worry less about what I can’t control anyway, how to be more balanced in work and rest, how to be content with what wears on me.

And I think that might be part of why Revelation was written in the Bible. For when I open these pages, I find promises that seem too good to be true — yet they come from the God who never lies. And they tell about a world to come for those who believe in Christ who is bringing it into being. I hope you’ll be in awe with me, and that this gives you real hope for what’s new in 2009 … and beyond.

“They shall hunger no more; neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17)

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