Here’s wishing you a very happy, fulfilling, prosperous, productive and peaceful 2019.

We made it! Believe me when I say it is no mean feat. A lot of people who saw last year January didn’t live to see 31st December. Ordinarily, we don’t think about such things a lot, but at times like this, we easily recall those that we lost in the previous year.

Many emotions run through the survivors’ minds in the early days of a new year. The most common is the excitement and joy of crossing over. The exuberant cries of ‘Happy New Year’ everywhere you go, whether they are known persons or strangers. The joy is worth sharing with everyone who would care to listen. I made it! We made it!

It’s a fresh start, a new opportunity to live differently, to try again. Hopes are high, zeal is pumping. There are positive vibes everywhere. Someone, somewhere is thinking, ‘Maybe this year, things will be different’, and ‘Maybe I will make it’. The slate is wiped clean, we start over. At least in January, we do that. The ability to sustain the momentum now depends on how deep the resolve is within each person. Some will not make it past the first few days of January. Some will push through January into February.  For some, six months is a charm. For yet others, they will push into the second half of the year. It is only a handful of people that will persevere, cross the finish line and breast the tape. These are the remnant.

What about another category of survivors? The unwilling ones? The reluctant survivors? For these ones, it might as well have been August or March. They couldn’t care less. They are unhappy, possibly broke or stuck in a rut they have no idea how to get out of. For these ones, the slate is full, no space left to write on. And you can’t wipe the slate clean because things were written with indelible markers. It is not a good place to be.

There is yet another category of survivors, those who fall in between the two groups, ranging from fairly happy to fairly unhappy. They will not go out of their way to celebrate the New Year, but they would respond positively if they are greeted. For them, it is business as usual. They have just enough stamina to continue living. Hope is suppressed. They believe hard work is their best bet. That they just need to work a little harder to achieve those goals and expectations they were chasing the previous year.

The truth that we often forget in the daily press and crunch of life is this: ‘It’s not entirely up to us’! The race is not to the swift. Hard work is good, Prayer is better. Hard work and prayer combined is a success strategy. I also heard lately that labour is good but favour is better. Let us enter into the rest of God and operate from that place of rest; where our days are spent, not in harried errands up and down (like Martha), but in peaceful, directed work, listening to the Master and carrying out His instructions (like Mary).

We should not toil like the world does. Like my pastor usually says, ‘If you are too busy to pray, then you’re busier than God intended you to be’.

Life is tough, yes. But we have the manual for life and we serve the One Who knows the end from the beginning and is available to be our guide, even unto death. So, what to do? Hold on to His hands. Let Him guide and direct. Let us find rest in Him. Spend time with Him, Ask questions. Receive answers. Take courage. Be strong, be brave, and stand fast. Even when you can’t see ahead, lean on His strength and His wisdom. He knows the end from the beginning. When we walk with Him, we cannot be lost.

The year looks like a box full of great things. We must not try to unpack it on our own, but receive help from the One Who packed the box for us. He knows where He put everything. If we lean on Him, He will guide us to finding each item we need, at the time we need it. I pray that God’s wisdom will guide you, as you embrace a great 2019. May the grace and favour of God thrust you into the very best He has for you this year.

Happy New Year!!!