Although I don’t stay up to see the ball drop anymore, I am excited to see the old year end and the new year begin. There is something clean, fresh, and hopeful on the first day of the new year. Now, as we are a week into the new year, are you still keeping those New Year’s resolutions to do better in some of the areas of your life that you failed in last year? They say most of us want to lose weight (yep, that’s me) and most of us who join a gym in January are no longer seen there in February. It seems that we have a great desire to change but can’t seem to sustain the effort on our own.
I also know that as a Christian I make various pledges to God to do better every year and, just as in the physical area, I soon find myself falling short again. I am so thankful that I serve a Lord who knows my frame and is not surprised when I’m not doing as well as I hoped. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for a whole year to pass to begin again. “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him…” (Lam. 3:25) The Lord knows that what our heart wants to do is often undermined by our sinful nature, but He encourages us to repent of our failures and begin again fresh and clean each morning. “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23) Every morning dawns with the love and encouragement of our Lord to allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to help us grow more like Him. Little by little the Holy Spirit works His will in us if we will submit to Him, and little by little we will begin to change ever so slightly for the better. Old things pass away, new things are more reachable, because our Lord has compassion on us and encourages us to get up, dust ourselves off, and begin again with no condemnation over yesterday’s failures.
As I was thinking about this I remembered the Serenity Prayer and began to think that this was a really good way to start the year. It is a prayer that helps us trust God to do what we cannot do, to encourage us to do what we can, and to ask the Lord to show us which is His responsibility and which is ours. I thought you might like to pray it too. Happy New Year!