New Year’s should be a time to rest. First, we rest in the reality of our identity in Christ. We may have failed to meet our heady goals in 2016. Jesus still loves us, despite our failures, unchecked boxes, and disappointment at the scale. The gospel tells us that he loves us in the midst of these.
It’s not the voice of your Savior, but the whisper of the enemy that says you have less worth because you blew your resolutions. A “more successful 2018” will not make Jesus love you any more. He’s the One, after all, who calls broken sinners and empowers them for his mission. Failed apostles, former persecutors, recovering Pharisees—his body is full of them.
Second, we should plan to physically rest. We don’t often do this on New Year’s. We plan to work and hustle. But do we schedule time to reflect and acknowledge our need for sleep and leisure? Rest isn’t a sign of laziness or weakness; it’s a sign of spiritual strength and confidence that when we close our eyes, our lives are in the grip of a sovereign God. To sleep is to say that we’re not God and that the world can go on without us.
So as we make our plans for 2017, let’s remember that even in our failures, we serve the One who remembers our frame and knows we are dust (Ps. 103:14). We make plans, but we hold them lightly. We entrust our future, not to Evernote or Google Calendar or a reading list, but to the King who holds the world in his hands.