New Year's Meditation

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation for December 31 from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there” (Acts: 20, 22)
“ ‘What will happen to me there’, – Paul had no idea what would happen; he could not predict what dangers, misfortunes, tribulations or disappointments awaited him. Ahead lay complete uncertainty, but with his usual courage Paul says: ‘I am going to Jerusalem’. He was not one of those individuals who do not carry out their duty without knowing what this duty will demand of them. All of us stand on the threshold of the untried and unknown future in exactly the same way; we don’t see anything in front of us, we only try with fear and trepidation to enter into this uncertainty. ‘What will happen to me there?’ I don’t know, and no power can reveal it to me. Our guesses are in vain, we don’t know anything, – what eventualities we may encounter, whether grief or joy await us, whether our future fate resembles the past, or whether there will be something totally different. Let us not get lost in guesswork, but rather go bravely forward, as St. Paul does, following God’s will, and God Himself will clear the way before us. So – ‘what will happen to me’? Changes and unexpected events are inevitable and then, in the future, sooner or later, the inevitable end awaits us. Let us go there ‘compelled by the Spirit’. Only the hope in God can motivate us to go forward calmly and bravely. Let us not be concerned about tomorrow – the Lord Himself will take care of it. Surrounded by darkness, not seeing anything in front us, let us stretch out our hand and grab a hold of His hand, which is ready to support and lead us. Then we will also be able to say: ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me’ (Ps. 23: 4).

The above meditation is about unwavering trust in God, and acting accordingly. Lewis’s own trust in God failed temporarily after Joy’s death, as he describes in the first part of “A Grief Observed”. Towards the end of that diary his faith was restored when he felt God saying to him, “Peace child, you don’t understand”. And afterwards, shortly before his death, he wrote to Mary Shelburne, who was afraid of dying: "Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child…let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’ "


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)