What would New Year’s Day be like in Heaven? Would there even be one? Now, the Bible says in Revelation 21:23 that “[Heaven] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” So I guess there won’t be a New Year’s “day” at all. No sun; no day, no year. But in Isaiah 65: 17-20, the prophet talks about how in the new creation being a century old won’t be that old at all, so maybe years in Heaven are a thing after all.
One of my favorite hymns, “Amazing Grace,” talks about how, after singing His praises for 10,000 years, we will still have as many years to go as we did when we started, so time in Heaven again doesn’t really seem to be a thing, but time here on Earth? That’s a thing of which we never have enough.
New Year’s Day is a good time to stop and think about that time. The time we have here as well as the time we will have in Heaven. We can be assured that God will bless us in the coming year, even if the thought of the coming year is causing us stress and worry. I try to live my life by Philippians 4:6 at this time of year: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Probably the hardest thing to do, right there. To let go of anxiety and worry and pray. January is the best time to get back into this habit.
Many passages promise us blessings for our obedience to God (Psalm 5:12, 112:2). Many more promise us blessings for our trust in Him (Psalm 34:10, Jeremiah 17:7), for our faithful prayer (Matthew 7:7-11, Ephesians 3:20), and even for our suffering (Job 23:10, Romans 8:28). Our blessings are assured.
So in this coming year we can set aside the stress and worry. We have our Lord’s permission to set it aside and place it on His shoulders. I counsel this almost every day to students and even staff: let God take this one; you don’t have to. It is human nature (and very much my nature) to try to assume all the burdens, all the time. To take on the weight of the coming year at 12:01 AM on January 1st. Even for other people (one of the hardest lessons I ever learned in life is that you just can’t make New Year’s resolutions for other people, no matter how much they may need it….). The ball drops, the glasses clink, and the panic starts.
This year? This year let’s put all of that on God. He has our backs.
Principal of St. John Nottingham Lutheran School