Don’t Be Afraid of Uncharted Waters


Author: Sheridan Voysey

A new year. A new decade. We have crossed a threshold, begun a new story, bidding the old farewell to make way for the new. What are you looking forward to?

New Lands, New Discoveries

Along with birthdays and significant holidays, researchers tell us a new year is a time when we reflect more intentionally on our lives and where they’re heading. They even have a name for this phenomenon—the Fresh Start Effect. On these transition days we somehow feel free to draw a line on last year’s disappointments and failures and start afresh. Gyms and diet programmes know how real this phenomenon is.

If yesterday was the shore, today we push out into new waters. What new lands we might find and discoveries make! New relationships, job opportunities and fulfilled dreams could lie ahead. A New Year offers us the prospect that life may be about to get better.

Unsettled Futures

For all its fresh starts and possibilities, though, a new year can be unsettling. None of us know the future or what storms it may bring (or fires, given Australia’s current crisis). Some of our New Year’s traditions reflect this. Fireworks originated in China to ward off evil spirits so a new season could be prosperous. Kissing at midnight probably came from the idea that how you started the year determined how you’d succeed in it, even in love. New Year’s resolutions date back to the Babylonians who made vows to earn the favour of the gods. The aim of each act was to secure a more positive future.

When they weren’t making vows, the ancient Babylonians were busy conquering people. When they enslaved the Jewish people in the sixth century BC, God in time sent the Jews this messageDon’t be afraid. When you go through deep waters, I’ll be with you. Fast forward a few hundred years and Jesus and his friends are sailing the Sea of Galilee when they’re caught in a violent storm. As the boat floods and the friends panic Jesus says, Why are you so afraid? before commanding the waters to calm.

Sign saying Old Habits and Change

Pushing Out

We’ve pushed out from the shore into new uncharted waters. I for one am looking forward to 2020’s adventures. But with a father battling cancer and flood waters currently rising near my home, I’m not sure all that this new year will bring. And so I’m holding on to this promise:

When you go through deep waters, I’ll be with you.

Don’t be afraid.

Article supplied with thanks to Sheridan Voysey.

About the Author: Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His books include Resilient, Resurrection Year, and Unseen Footprints. Get his FREE eBook Five Practices for a Resilient Life here.

Photo credit:

More from Sheridan Voysey

What to Do When the World is Sick with Hurry

After facing the year we’ve had and now Christmas, Sheridan Voysey says it’s not just our mental health that needs care, but our spirit and our soul too.

10 Commandments for These Divided Times

Research shows that we are more prone to help those who look, think and believe like us. But what would Jesus would do?

Weathering Storms with Resilience

What happens when your life doesn’t go according to plan? Sheridan Voysey shares his testimony building resilience to deal with the storms in his life.

In This Rare Moment, the Whole World is Living the Same Story

In this moment, much of the world feels like it’s living the same story. The streets of Paris are as empty as those of Delhi.


The Word for Today



Replacing Panic with God’s Peace

Patsy Clairmont was afraid to even leave her house. She shares why her coping mechanisms failed and how God was able to free her from all fears.

Love, Tears and Autism

Cecily honestly shares the impact that being a parent of a child with autism has had on her – both the triumphs and the trials.


Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.