A Question for New Year’s Eve

“Where have you come from, and where are you going?” (Genesis 16:8)

The last days of the year are a good time for reflection. Have you ever had such a bad year that you could not live with the idea of another year of the same?  Are you there now? If you are, you could be ready for this question that God likes to ask people from time to time.

“Where have you come from, and where are you going?”

This consummate question of direction implies that if we do not have a crisis that changes things, we are going where we have come from.

Sometimes we are what needs to change. Jeremiah actually mocks us for trying to change ourselves: “Why do you gad about so much to change your ways? …  Can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin or the leopard its spots?  Then may you also do good, who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jeremiah 2:36; 13:23)

There is a big difference between trying to change ourselves and being changed by God. Unless we are changed by God, or God changes what only God can change, we’re trapped in a cycle of going where we have come from.

David, with great spiritual discernment, asked God to create in him a new heart. God answered that prayer. (Psalm 51:10)  God can do that today. We’re not doomed to that cycle of going where we have come from. We can be changed. God can change the things that must change so we will not go where we have come from next year.

Confess that you can’t change yourself or your circumstances, but believe God can as you enter the New Year, then watch at God work.

Dick Woodward, 30 December 2011

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