Oh, New Year’s Eve. The night you always imagine will be wonderful and magical, full of fun and laughter into the early morning hours. Instead, it usually involves you in pajama pants sitting on your couch watching your favorite episodes of Parks and Rec until about 11:00. At least that’s what it’s like in the Hassell home.
While this New Year may not begin in glittery splendor for everyone, it is, of course, the perfect time of year to make a fresh start, a clean break, a do-over, a resolution. Something about the beginning of a new year causes us to pause and examine. What do I need to change about myself? What do I need to fix? How can my life be better? The easy thing here (which I do far too often) would be to sift through every facet of my life, making a list of what I need to do differently. I spend way too much time on the computer. I don’t spend enough time outside. I need to clean more. I need to eat less. I need to read more. I need to spend less. This list could go on and on and on…until I crumble into a pile of tears on the floor.
Yes, I am a sinner. Yes, I lack self-discipline. Yes, I make mistakes. But, there is something greater than all of these failures of mine: I have a conquering King, an almighty Savior who fights for me.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”–Isaiah 43:18-19
Ah, the sweet sound of these words! God is doing a new thing. There is such beauty in and strength from a promise such as this. The Lord says, “I am doing something new. Don’t you see it?” He beckons me to forget my times of wandering, forget my moments of doubt, forget my laziness, my anxiety, my fear. He promises to show me the way, to provide some much-needed relief. He promises to make a river in the desert. How refreshing and comforting is that? In those times of my life that feel pointless and frustrating, confusing and overwhelming, God is saying He will take care of it. He has a plan. And the beautiful thing is, when we trust Him at His word, when we actually believe He is good, when we finally stop striving for an answer, He is there to say, “I’ve got this.” This river He provides is living, it’s peaceful, it quenches thirst, it nourishes souls, and it never ends. Oh, that I would cling to this truth and soak it in. That I would be able to say with full conviction, “Great is Thy faithfulness.”
This new year is a good thing. It is a blessing from the Lord that we have another beginning, another day. While I do have many things I can work on for myself and for my family, I must strive for those under the banner of “to God be the glory.” He deserves my effort, He deserves my discipline, but He also deserves the glory. May my heart seek to love better, to do more, and to worry less. Because God provides it, I am able to “drink from a river which will never run dry” (Charles Spurgeon). So, may every day in 2016 point to His name, not mine.