As Time Goes By

It’s hard to believe it is already 2009… I remember last year, as each month flew by, watching it go incredulously.  And now here we are, in a whole new year! 

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, and I have a couple to share and perhaps keep this time around.  I have noticed on other blogs that women write how they are keeping up on their resolutions; what they have accomplished, how far they have come.  I am so proud of them!  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for me.  Maybe this time!

I have this thing where I like to start new things on significant dates — like Christmas, my birthday, or the beginning of a month.  I don’t like to start something on, say, September 17th.  So the first of the year is the most important date to start anything, and I am starting a whole new life.

2008 was not a good year in my life, and I knew it as I went through it.  I muddled through it, rather… and while I knew I had to get organized, get together, get with God, I never made time to do it, resulting in an entire year that I can’t look back on with happiness.  I’m not proud of it.  And I know God wasn’t proud of me.  Perhaps that is what hurts most of all… knowing that I disappointed Him in many ways.  Looking back, I see them all clearly.  In that moment, I didn’t really care to look.

As time goes by, we can take that look back and see what we did and evaluate it.  I truly resent doing this because I see my words and actions and cringe.  “Did I really say that?”  “How could I have…!” “That was really, really dumb.”  If I don’t look back, though, I won’t see what I did and learn how to overcome it.  I won’t see the problem, so I won’t look for a solution; I won’t know I have a disease, so I won’t find a cure.

A resolution, in and of itself, doesn’t accomplish anything.  A lot of non-Christians make resolutions, and by sheer willpower accomplish what they hoped:  better fitness, fewer hangovers, or spending more time with the family.  For Christians, there are two facets to our goals/resolutions:  first, they are based on what God desires us to be, not only our personal opinion of what needs to change; and second, we are not on our own accomplishing them.  God will give us strength.

So when I look back at my past year and find what I need to change, I can’t just make a resolution ‘not to do it again’, because I said that hundreds of times and did ‘it’ again!  The first step is to recognize our failures not as ‘mistakes’ but as sins.  The more lightly we view our sins, the less grateful we are for forgiveness — if we even seek it.  We must understand the magnitude of going against the will of God.  We must ask Him to reinstate us to Himself, because sin separates us from Him.  ‘Mistakes’ are accidents.  I don’t know many instances of ‘accidental’ sin. 

In recognizing sin for what it is, we can take the next step, which is to forsake it.  This is where the resolve comes in!  Yet our resolve need not be to make ourselves resist temptation, but to make ourselves trust God when we are tempted.  I didn’t understand this at first.  When we trust God in temptation, we admit to Him that we know He ‘will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear’ and that He ‘will never leave us nor forsake us’.  In this confidence, we can conquer.

It in this way that we make each New Year’s resolution produce real change in our lives.  It’s not on human willpower, but on trust and humility in an almighty God.  Consider also that the enemy will do anything to make us fail.  Too often I write off Satan as a man in a red suit running about with a pitchfork in hand.  He’s much more powerful than a sunburned farmer.  Realizing this helped me to know when he was tempting me, recognize it as such, and turn to the One who is my strength and stronghold.

2009 can be different for me, and it can be different for you as well.  Whatever you may be facing, what trials, heartaches, hardships, obstacles — entrust them.  I have plenty of all of the above.  Holding onto the them only gives me a stomachache.  Surrendering them to Jesus Christ gives me a life worth living — one to be proud of as time goes by.





One Response

  1. Amen! I pray your new year is blessed and God blesses you with the love of blessing others.

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