New Year; New Day
I love the New Year. There is a sense of anticipation, a sense of new adventure, of doors opening and possibilities springing forth. It rarely fails to awaken an excitement and energy that had waned. I feel the world is born again and me with it.
Thanks to my Dad, I also make goals with each new year. Dad is very much an "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" kind of man and I happily inherited that from him. In my young adult years I heard fabulous advice that gives me the framework for my goal setting based on Luke 2:52: I examine ways each year that I may grow in "wisdom," in "stature," in "favor with God," and in favor "with men." And as I have grown in the Lord, I seek Him in deciding the specifics of my goals (which, in my opinion, is the only way to create successful goals).
I've also learned over the years that annual goals, while good, need the nudge of being broken down into monthly and weekly steps in order to actually get done. There is always that human tendency to shove goals into the future until, with one final shove, we don't think of them again until we review them in preparation for goal setting the following New Year!
This year as the Lord started once again to fill my heart with the anticipation of a New Year and the new things He wanted to do in and through me, I found myself marveling at the process. Isn't it wonderful to have this time of year to evaluate, to feel like the slate is wiped clean, to feel that you can start again? How gracious God is to place seasons in our lives! What joy fills the observant heart at the start of Spring when all is reborn and fresh and alive once more!
And with these reflections in my heart came the realization that this is how God sees us continually. We tend to get so deflated and hard on ourselves with each blip in our resolution keeping, yet our Abba sees each day as new, each moment as an opportunity for renewal and beginning again. Truly, "His mercies… are new every morning!" (Lam 3:22-23)
I find it interesting to ponder the circumstances in which Jeremiah, the prophet, penned these words of hope and renewal. It was after the worst had happened, after the people of Israel had so miserably failed in their promises to keep God's word and worship Him exclusively that they opened the door to their enemies and were utterly destroyed, nearly wiped off the face of the earth - but for the mercy of God. He saw a new day for them in spite of their failure.
Perhaps, in years past, you made goals or resolutions that quickly started to break down. Perhaps you have been so discouraged by past failures that you have given up on all goal setting and are simply being driven through life by whatever takes the helm at the moment. Take heart. God sees a new day for you. He has mercy on us and everyday is a new opportunity in Him. He is faithful when we are not and He has great plans for you. Seek His purposes and His will and pursue partnering with Him in this new day.
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.'" Lamentations 3:21-24