Friends – Happy New Year! Please allow me to congratulate you on surviving another year and entering into this one! And allow me to say a few words about this year, and your hope.
As I was learning more about how to celebrate 春节 I came across an interesting greeting: “岁岁平安!” Now, my 老外 information source says that it’s a greeting wishing harmony and peace, but one that you use when you’ve broken something – because 岁 sounds like 碎. It’s supposed to be a greeting you use to protect and bring good luck to a year when you’ve had a bad start, or something like that. Is this correct? Do you or your friends ever use this greeting?
I found it very interesting indeed! I love to celebrate, to eat fun foods and do fun things with fun people whom I love and care about. I like to go to interesting places and just generally enjoy life! Especially during the holiday season! It’s great to put aside the hard times of the past year and remember the good times together – when that’s possible.
What’s your last year been like? Was it full of wholeness, or brokenness? Were you full of joy and satisfaction and hope, or did you face heartbreak, loss, disappointment? In my year, I faced both sides! Great joy, but also some sorrow, too – especially because I was involved to help other people in their sorrow and broken life. Maybe you had experiences of both sides, too?
One thing I really have learned about 神 in the Year of the Snake, which will help me in the Year of the Horse: “though it’s hard for us to understand 神, He really understands us.” When He comes close to us, two wonderful things happen: first, the joy and satisfaction become deeper – not because I get more money or people like me more, but because of His promise that in the New World He is making for us, everything good and worthwhile about us is coming back again, to live forever. All the joy, all the great results of hard work, the creativity – the good things that people have done for us and that we have done for them – these things are coming back on the Great Day. They are the stuff of the future. Our joy now is an echo of the greater joy that is coming.
Second: the brokenness, the heartbreak, the loss, the failure – these things become more bearable. Not because I’m ignoring them or pretending that they don’t exist – but because it’s always been in 神’s heart to finally one day put the broken things away forever – to heal them. That promise makes more sense to me. Last year some people whom I love lost employment, some had family members who died, marriages have broken up, some had serious health troubles. 神’s promise of the Great Day makes us strong: it reminds us that “I won’t always feel this way! The night is here, but the sun is rising. What is broken will be made whole again!”
There’s a sentence in The Library that says, “Love each other deeply, because love obliterates many failures!” The genuine love that comes from others to us is part of 神’s gift to heal our brokenness. The genuine love we give to others is part of His gift to heal our brokenness, too: with His help, by doing what is good we overcome what is broken – in us and in the people we love.
Well … in the Year of the Horse, I hope that you are blessed with great strength and energy to do wonderful things with your life – to go to new places, to become a refreshed person, and one who refreshes others. I hope that you find yourself in the place of blessing many other people with good things, good words, kind actions – because with the help of 神 this will bless you yourself in powerful ways.
In the Year of the Horse, may the broken parts of your year always find peace and harmony, as 神 works to heal you and bring you to the Great Day. And in all your joy and satisfaction, may your heart always hear the echo of the greater joy that is coming, and grow brighter in hope. Truly, the sun is rising into the New Day.