To all those who are beginning the New Year hesitantly, already feeling a bit like the walking-wounded and wondering if you have the strength or courage for what may come– Jesus speaks blessing over you. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:3-5) Because you of all people know that this world cannot satisfy your heart. You are already looking for a Light on the horizon, hungry for more than the way things are. And Jesus says you are on the right path, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) You are learning the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, that the real treasures are things you can only see with the eyes of faith.
So bring your tears, and your fears, and all your questions, here at the start of a New Year. Hold them out to Jesus with both hands and let Him take them, so that your hands are empty and outstretched….ready for something new. A friend reminded me the other day that a person isn’t really ready to change unless he is a little bit desperate. It’s true, you know, that until our longing for something better outweighs our fear of letting go, our hands remain clenched on what we treasure– and I know a good many people who are hauling around buckets of dirt as if they were gold. So just give them up, here on the first page of the calendar; empty your hands and join the ranks of the humble, the heart-hungry, the longing…all those who can find true riches. They are singing the song of the Musician-King: “Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise you as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods….On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night.” (Psalm 63:3-6)
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)
“Oh Love that will not let me go,
My soul will rest in You alone.
I give you back this life I owe,
To know you Jesus more and more.”
(I Love You, Lord, Elevation Worship)