The small sign conveyed holiday cheer with block red letters on a small foam core square – similar to those Christmas Light ad signs I’ve seen around town since October.

As I waited for the light to turn green, I looked around the intersection, scanned the sign, moved on visually, then did a double take.

The simple letters said, “Psychic” and then had a phone number underneath.

It took several seconds to process.

What???

I drive through the intersection daily and the sign wasn’t there yesterday.

The relevance grabbed my attention. Tomorrow is New Year’s Day. A clean slate to begin a fresh span of time.

The unknown can be unnerving (terrifying even) for many people.

Just saying Happy New Year might be a bleak message for someone who has experienced recent loss, sadness, or feels an absence of hope.

Several weeks ago a friend gave me an amaryllis bulb as a thank you. The bulb needs no words or message. The green shoots convey promise, hope, excitement, and anticipation of floral beauty soon to appear.

Secrets are hidden in the base.

Mystery makes up the main bulb—once it matures and develops, a colorful flower will burst forth. The exact look isn’t known but there is a general understanding of what will appear.

One of my favorite hymns is called, “Hymn of Promise”

In the bulb there is a flower,

In the seed, an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise:

Butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter

There’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season,

Something God alone can see.

A long ago friend and teacher shared the complete surprise of his life direction. He explained his love for movies and enjoyment watching the coming attraction ads before the main show.

He reminded us of the faith challenge to trust God and said, “God doesn’t give us sneak previews of our lives. We are called daily to walk in faith.”

If 2017 held heartache and loss for you or if you feel frightened by the upcoming year looming before you, take hope in the promise illustrated by a simple amaryllis bulb.

God has this, whatever this is in your life and mine.

Let’s approach 2018 as a lovely, wonderful surprise waiting to open and unfold.

God works in ways we can’t know right now.

Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, maker of all things, ruler over everything, uniquely created YOU and has a brilliant plan for your life.

We may be called to walk challenging steps but the One who is over ALL walks with us.

Be brave.

Be hopeful.

Be willing to look to Him.

Let’s plant our right foot in the New Year with confidence for the promise we can’t yet see!