There is a marked contrast between the months of December and January.
One is busy, the other quiet.
One is filled with anticipation, the other hope.
After Christmas, most of us look expectantly toward the New Year, and January dawns, the month of serenity and light.
I have been mediating on the meaning of the word serenity this month.
SEREN’ITY, n. [L. serenitas.]
- Clearness and calmness; as the serenity of the air or sky.
- Calmness; quietness; stillness; peace.
- Calmness of mind; evenness of temper; undisturbed state; coolness.
As I look out my window, I am calmed by the quietude of the winter landscape. There is a clearness to the sky that can only be seen when the air is brisk and cold. The bare trees that line the hedgerow across the field offer no other words of encouragement except to rest. The hills lie dormant in lifeless shades of brown. They, too, admonish me to be still.
The wintery clouds hang low and press in on my spirit, but I welcome them. It may rain or snow. I don’t mind. It only adds to the charm of a mid-winter’s day as viewed from a cozy chair next to the window.
The January wind howls around the eaves, and as the clouds gather, I record uninterrupted thoughts in my journal describing the need to shut myself away from the rest of the world.
Isaiah 46: 11 declares: “. . . I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass: I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
I look up the Hebrew word for “I have purposed” in my Bible concordance. Yatsar means to mould into a form; especially as a potter; figuratively, to determine (i.e. form a resolution):–X earthen, fashion, form, frame, make(-r), potter, purpose.
What impresses me is how faithful God is at making resolutions and keeping them!
All He asks me to do is commit my way to Him this New Year, and trust Him for the results.
Scriptures for the New Year come to mind:
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
“Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
“Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5
And like the winter wind, serenity comes in fresh gusts as I cease to fill each waking hour with busyness or worldly cares, but instead purpose to trust God and let His peace wash over my weary soul.
If only for a few moments, I shut myself away from the onslaught of daily activity and constant distractions to hear the Lord’s voice: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
January teaches us to slow ourselves, to cease striving, and to fill our cups with a generous helping of serenity!