Do you ever approach a new year like it was a “blank slate”? Just waiting to be written on? Seeing it as a fresh start? The cynical part of me thinks the only thing changing is the date I need to write on my checks (yes, I still write a few!). Fresh beginnings are actually available everyday. Leviticus reminds us that His mercies are new every morning. But I do know that we can use it as an opportunity to make some very really choices that can change how we will end 2019.
Those choices (others may call them resolutions) involve our will and our perspective. This past year our Life Group ladies did an in depth study of Lysa Terkeurst’s book Uninvited. (I have mentioned it before), but a phrase from that book brought me to some choices I include in every difficult situation I face. “What would it look like if I faced this situation “feeling loved?”. Of course I am loved. Jesus proved it by accepting His assignment on the cross for me. The choice I make is to believe it enough to let it really change my approach to Him and others and the challenges of life I face. It is not a magical phrase like abracadabra–but it has become my actual reality that I turn to when I begin to feel anxious, nervous, rejected or disappointed.
I have had a lot of expenses this year with my home. So I struggled a bit with how to “do” Christmas with and for my family. The “coffers” were looking pretty grim and especially when I anticipated what would have been left after I paid my bills. Instead of fretting, I said, “Lord, you help me. You know my budget and I ask that you give me creative solutions so I can be a blessing to my family and others. I choose to trust your love for me, my family and my friends. I am still loved by you. You love them. I release this situation into your hands”. Oh my what He did! I received extra cash from three friends and then an investment years ago by my dad showed up in a surprising, amazing over the top way!
The choice to be grateful for what I had, to trust Him with what I did not have, resting in His provision saved me from anxious moments of “what do I do”, “how do I do it?” That was my choice. The day that the investment showed up, I was in Walmart. Our power had been out for 14 hours–but was restored. I overheard a woman with two children talking about candles etc. I asked her if she was still without power. She said yes, that she had booked into a motel with her two children (2 and 6). The six year old said, “yes, we were down to two candles. Her mom, said “yes, one I use for my baths!” The daughter said and the other one we got at Daddy’s service.” I asked her “are you a widow?” She said yes, and I said, “so am I”. We hugged and maybe shed a tear or two. I asked her if she had a church family, she said I go to Life Church! I laughed and said, so do I! Because of God’s faithfulness I was able to purchase some craft supplies for them to do in the motel room. That is what they needed. It was a blessing to all of us. The mom felt loved and seen by her Savior. The girls were blessed with some tangible gifts of God’s care and a story they could tell. (By the way the Lord impressed me to go to Walmart at that time to pick up bread to have when my grand-kids were coming over later that morning. It was a bit of a struggle to climb out of my warm bed on a Saturday morning, listening to His voice. I am glad I made that choice!
Joshua 24:1: Choose you this day whom you will serve. Choosing His way is much easier when we trust and rely on His grace and love. Father, I ask that as we approach this New Year that you will help us continue to grow in your ways. If there are still areas we have not learned to appropriate your love, I ask that you help us learn your ways. We choose your yoke today. we choose to accept your burden for us and walk with you. In Jesus Name Amen