Happy New Year! Hard to believe we are past the days of celebrating the birth of our savior and well into the days of self-contemplation. It seldom fails that each new year we are compelled to consider the previous year in great detail and determine adjustments as needed for the coming year.
New Year resolutions often focus on careers, family, health, and even our spiritual walk. We vow to improve, stop, or start various activities in hopes that the next year will yield better results based on our efforts. I recall numerous resolutions I have made over the years to lose weight, be a better wife, better house keeper, better mom, better friend, better follower of Christ, etc… Now I’m not saying I did not accomplish these tasks entirely, but suffice to say I spent more time agonizing over my failures than reveling in my success.
Why is it that at the start of each year we place such pressure on ourselves for improvement? Why not seek such resolve year round? Maybe because it is such a daunting task we can only handle this level of goal setting once a year. For me, the unfortunate result is that I expect my personal “course corrections” to take place instantaneously. I am quick to feel defeated when I have not achieved my resolutions by February or March.
This week I ran across a familiar scripture following my reading of the account of Jesus’ birth in the book of Luke. Although this verse is not new to me at all, it was as if I had never noticed it before. I pray you find the freedom and relief I felt as I read these words…
Luke 2:52—And Jesus INCREASED in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Yep, there it is…He “increased”. Jesus may have been without sin, but wisdom and self-improvement was not instantaneous…it was a process even for Him. I want to remember that this year. When I’m working on an aspect of my life, when Satan tries to discourage me, when it seems I’ll never meet my own expectations….I want to remember my life is a process and my God has His plans for me.
“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you saith the Lord, Thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end….you shall seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:11-13