Philip Stephens

We are a few days away from the new year. Interestingly, the number of the new year is quite unique. The year when the first two digits match the second two digits only comes once in a century, i.e. 2020, 1919, 1818, 1717, etc. Therefore, being alive in this year is special.

Also, to experience it twice is extremely unlikely. Perhaps babies born in 2020 will have a much better chance to experience it twice if they live to be 101 and are still alive in 2121. With medical advances, this is much more likely than in previous centuries.

No doubt there will be many events like weddings using the unique numbers of the year, such as 2-20-20, etc. And, since 2020 is a leap year, it will be one day longer. February 29 makes it fun when it comes to remembering wedding anniversaries and birthdays that occur on that day, only once every four years.

So, do these once in a century years hold significance? Looking back at previous centuries, it would not appear that those years stood out any more than others. It all seems to be a play on “numbers” so to speak.

Only God knows what the next year, or for that matter what the next moment holds. In fact, the God who has ordered our existence with days and years, is Himself not bound by time. Psalm 90:4 says, “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

None of us know what will happen in the coming year. Later in the same Psalm we are reminded, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12. Our responsibility as Christ followers is to trust and serve Him as He gives us opportunity.

The chorus to an old hymn says it well:

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

Ira Stanphill

Happy 2020!

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