We are finally here at the last few days of 2016, can you believe it? What an amazing year it's been—beyond expectation! When I look back and see the faithfulness of God in so many areas, I can't help but wonder what He has in store for 2017.
Maybe as you think about this year, you don't see it as your best year ever. Maybe you had some unexpected challenges. Or, maybe you look back and see some missed opportunities. We've all had difficulty. We've all missed out on some God-given opportunities. The thing is, we don't have to carry that disappointment and regret into the New Year. God is bigger than your mistakes and difficulties, and He can still get you to where you need to be in life.
Think about the GPS system in your car or phone. You set the destination to where you want to go, and the GPS calculates the best route. Even if you're driving along and get distracted and completely miss your turn, it doesn't mean that you'll never reach your destination. In fact, almost instantly, the new route is recalculated based on your present location.
God works in a similar way. He is constantly giving us direction, speaking to our hearts, leading us by peace on the inside. However, even when we miss His instructions—and we all do from time to time—He will recalculate our route and get us back to where we need to be.
The key is: Don't waste valuable time trying to look back over your shoulder. You have to forget about what you've missed so you can focus on what lies ahead. I love what the apostle Paul said in Philippians, "This one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind, I press forward to what is ahead."
Like Paul, we have to aggressively turn our thoughts away from where we've been, away from our mistakes, away from our "missed turns." Instead, we need to turn our thoughts forward in the direction we are headed. We have to keep looking for the new opportunities in our paths and shake off regret and disappointments. This is a new day, and God wants to do a new thing in your life.
As you get ready to celebrate the New Year, choose to leave the old behind. Let go of bitterness and condemnation. Forgive others and let go of the old. Let Christ wipe your slate clean as you get ready for 2017!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)