We are now a little over one month into another year. It’s 2017. Do you feel any different? Have you
done anything differently? What would it take to make 2017 different for you than 2016? Or any other
year for that matter. And just what, really, is a year other than twelve months on our calendar?
An interesting word study may help our understanding. A view from God’s perspective. In the language
of His people. Let me explain: The word year in Hebrew is shannah, which can mean duplicate, or
repeat. Since we are currently in mid winter, it means that this winter will be a repeat of the winter
before it: cold weather accompanied by snow. Each spring is a duplicate or repeat of the spring before
bringing the same thing: warmth and melting snow, blooming flowers, accompanied by the singing of
birds as they find mates and build nests. We can count on this summer being hot, just like the summer
before it, and this fall the leaves will turn color and fall off before winter comes again – and on and on.
Duplicate. Repeat. One year. And just like the earth we live on, being the creatures of habit that we are,
we will also tend to do the same things in the same manner this year as we did last year.
However, shannah, as is the case with many Hebrew words, has a double meaning. It’s other meaning
can be change. In other words this is a new year. It’s not 2016, but 2017. It’s different. We can make it
different. God seems to be offering us a choice. We can do everything as before with the same results,
or we can make changes. Change is one of God’s possibilities for each of us.
When you accepted God’s gift of salvation through Jesus sacrifice on the cross for your sins, the Bible
tells us that you were not just saved from the penalty of your sins, but you became a new creature.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things
have become new.” (II Cor. 5:17) You need no longer be bound by your past. You have the power of
the Holy Spirit dwelling within you to effect those changes needed to accomplish this. Destructive
habits can be changed. Relationships can be healed. Or you may simply remain caught up in the
humdrum of life, living in a rut, when you know there is more to life than simple daily existence. Be
cautious: a rut may be little different than a grave with both ends open…. and simply existing until you
die is a sad waste. Jesus offers more. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it
more abundantly.” (John 10:10). This very year can be the time that you begin living life instead of
simply enduring it. Remember, it’s only a fool who keeps doing the same things in the same manner
expecting different results.
So, “When should I begin?” you might ask. Well, there are only two days in the year that you cannot do
something. One is called yesterday. The other is called tomorrow.
Have a great year, beginning – TODAY!