Why do we think in years in terms of starting fresh?
Why do we wait…sometimes…to start anew?
I ask this question without having an answer. I’m just finding that I’d prefer to live in a way that thinks of each new day as a fresh start…as fresh as a new year.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
But as humans we mark time don’t we?
We are nourished when we to look back on a segment of time, evaluate it, thank God for it, and then look towards the next segment of time prayerfully.
I’m looking up these recent days…in hope…to see God’s renewing and restorative work in my life in the next year.
On New Year’s Eve, my kids were sick and my husband and I were just about to get sick. I sat in a blanket cuddled up with hot tea. My husband had fallen asleep putting the children to bed! I was filled with joy as I read over my journal, though. Each year I cherish a special time of reviewing the year as recorded in my journal and then beginning the next year’s first entry. I’m able to see clearly what God has been doing in my life, what prayers He has answered, what prayers are still waiting to be answered and continued in the new year.
After reviewing my year, I began the journal for the new year starting it off with a theme scripture verse and, thanks to Ann Voskamp’s inspiration, a theme word.
So here they are: Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD (Psalm 27:14)!
Because I’m seeing more and more that true courage and strength and faith = yielding.
Instead of going forward in my own strength,
in my own ideas,
taking care of things with the power of my voice.
Taking action quickly, knee jerk reactions instead of prayer, responding in the flesh instead of in the Spirit. These are all too easy and take little faith, strength and courage in God.
I used to think that using my strength…my voice…my action…what seems most efficient at the moment in the flesh…was the most powerful way to handle something. But God is showing me that is the most weak way to handle something.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (Proverbs 25:28).
An ancient city without walls was vulnerable, weak and helpless.
And so it is for us working from the flesh without control and doing what seems so efficient to us.
But those who exhibit self-control, prayer and waiting…those are the ones called strong and courageous. And really…what takes more strength?
In the heat of whatever spiritual battle one faces each day or faces right now…what is most challenging?
Going forward in one’s own way
stopping, praying, yielding,acting from the Spirit instead of the flesh?
We’re starting a new sermon series at church based on the book of John. Instead of starting at the beginning, we started at the end. Appropriate for a gospel that turned the whole world upside down.
We started with Thomas not believing unless He could put his hands in Jesus’s scars. And what does sweet Jesus do? He tells Thomas to indeed put his hand in His side. But He also says to Thomas that those who don’t see and believe are blessed.
Isn’t that what yielding and going foward in the Spirit is like. It’s acting on faith instead of the self who we can see easily in the mirror. I know this is true and I believe Jesus is the way…not me…but I say right along with the man in Mark 9, “Help me in my unbelief!”
This is my desire for 2013…to believe…practically…more. For Him to help me in these areas that I tend to act like I have unbelief.
This is what I will look for to be the theme for my 2013.
What about you? Do you have a theme that you are seeking to have God guide you in this new year?
May God richly bless you with His restoring and renewing work in your life!
Linking up with Barbie and Michelle today…