It's the first day of 2016, a year full of promise and uncertainty, 365 days lying ahead, waiting and developing into their time. Some people fear this beginning with the looming future and unknown factors it may bring, and others put on this forced sense of welcome for the hope put in temporary things and soon-forgotten resolutions. I too feel the weight of time, the yearning for something bigger than visits to the gym and a more organized life. I want to do so much, but time limits me. Time. Time. Time.
But I look at this year, and I strain to see something invisible. I look at 2016 and I search for a hope put into something unseen: the Bigger Story.
Let's try for a moment, at the beginning of this small year, to imagine the Story of Glory unfolding even now, though it is so much bigger than now. Close your eyes for a moment and forget all of the plans, questions, doubts, and excitement that usually occupy your thoughts. Remember the Story.
It didn't start in the beginning or "once upon a time," for it began before the beginning, before even the creation of time. It started with God.
And God wrote this Story, writes this Story. He created time, humans, and a system so complex that, even after thousands of years, we've only scratched the surface of understanding it. For "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) And "God saw all that he has made, and it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)
But we must remember that God was before that beginning. He knew before the beginning. And He loved us before the beginning of time itself. For God is greater than time.
"A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night." (Psalm 90:4, and while you're at in, please go and read the rest of this wonderful Psalm, today!)
But we know what happened next. Sin. The Fall. Death. Time ripened this darkness, which bread in the created world of time, waiting. Waiting for the light of mankind to come into the darkness, waiting for the light greater than darkness to reign victorious, waiting for the appointed time.
"The true light that give light to everyone was coming into the world." (John 1:9)
Jesus. Immanuel. God with us, come to save and to bring Himself more glory. Jesus Christ turned the Story's direction and furthered the purpose of time, and we now see in glimpses this purpose, which is the gospel (1 Corinthians 13:12). It is the Story of God's glory and grace through the gospel. It is the Story written on our hearts and created in this world and yet greater than anything created.
"He has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (2 Timothy 1:9-10)
And now comes 2016.
Yes, it will hold many wonderful and challenging things. Big events and little changes will happen over the year, and we will probably look back and marvel at all that it held and all that God did. But I don't want to let my sight see only this year, for my story is in a much bigger Story than 2016. Your story goes far beyond one year too if you make your story His Story.
And so let's look unto the One who never wonders at what a new year will bring and never forgets what He promises. Let's fix our vision on the One who holds the world in His hand and created time itself. This year, let's resolve to stay inside the resolve of the One whose purpose goes outside of one year.
This won't always make sense, this trust in the invisible and hope in the incomprehensible. This year will give us all many chances to do things in light of more than just 2016, and these eternal-minded decisions will baffle the world. But let's not make resolutions for just 2016, let's follow the One whose resolutions last for all eternity, resolutions which only gather more and more momentum and glory. For His Story rumbles throughout time, echoing a glory that exceeds what we can see or can even begin to imagine.
Let's rejoice in 2016, a small part of the greatest tale ever told: His Story. But let us not forget eternity.
Happy New Years!