A new year always brings with it great expectations. Expectations of a new you, a new outlook, a new start, a new…insert here whatever “new” you might be hoping for. And so when the hopeful infant days of 2016 are plagued so soon with what I basically call “life”—bills to pay, deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, etc., you wonder, “Where’s the ‘happy’ in the Happy New Year?”
As I sat here this morning wondering where the happy was in this the new year, a cartoon crossed my desk. It was a sketch of a Christian martyr standing in the middle of a Roman stadium, eyes fixed on heaven above, a calm look upon his face, and arms stretched out in prayer. In the foreground was the lion making its way out from its den, eager to “introduce” itself to this Christian. My friend’s commentary on the cartoon read, “Being a Christian doesn’t take away your problems.”
I laughed a knowing laugh and remembered then that the “happy” in a new year is found in the knowledge of whom it is that we belong to. We belong to God and as God’s beloveds there is nothing to fear nor is there anything to get down about, for God is there.
The psalmist proclaimed it the best when the question, “Where does my help come from?” was asked at the beginning of Psalm 121. The reply: My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth.
The “happy” in a new year comes from knowing deep in our hearts that there is a helper, a guide, a comforter and a friend in our lives.
So why fear? Why fret? Why cry or worry when we can smile and be set free to enjoy all that God has for us? And when trying times do hit (as they will), why lament?
The “lions” in life might be waiting to pounce but eyes focused upward and hands stretched out in praise, helps us all to stand tall.
And so, where’s the happy in the new year? It’s right there in the knowledge of knowing that no matter what, there is nothing to fear, for we belong to God.
May we realize this day and always that there is a divine message shining in our lives as well that whispers to us, “Be not afraid.”