It's that time of year again. The end I mean. Everyone is reflecting, celebrating, crying, regretting, and hoping for better the next time around.
My husband makes a list of goals in several areas of his life i.e. physically, financially, etc. He also makes a list of books to read for the year. He keeps the list in his wallet and then reviews it one last time at the end of the year before making a new list for the upcoming year. It is really quite impressive how many goals he achieves and books he reads every year. He's done it for the 16 years I've known him. I also usually make some plans for the new year. Lists of things I want to try to do, or try to do better. I made one last year. I have no idea where it is or what was on it.
And that's where we are today on this last day of the old year.
We all have this longing for things to change. We know things have not gone as well as we would have liked, and we hope things will get better by the next time we are on this side of the sun. Why do we do this?
Simply because the world is broken and we are broken in it and we know that is not as it should be. I know, what an encouraging post, right?
But, we truly cannot move forward and pretend like things will get better if we try harder. We are broken people, hoping that our brokenness will hurt less this year than it did last year. So we do what we can to prepare. We set goals. We make lists. We plan as best we can for things we don't even know are coming. We are ridiculously hopeful.
Herein lies the beauty of what God has done.
On our own, we have no true hope. We will make our New Year's resolutions and lose the list by the end of the week. We will forget the mistakes we have already made and make them again. So we have no hope for real change apart from leaning into what God does for us that we cannot do for ourselves.
We must lean into the new life that he has gifted to us through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus. This is the only way to make this new year different from the last one.
For me, this is the only reason to keep writing about how I've encountered the Gospel in my own life. It is the only thing that has ever made the difference from one year to the next. I have never made a list of goals or rules that I was able to keep. I broke them and gave up every time. But every time I give my failures and hopes to God, and trust him to make it all new, he does it. Every. Time.
Are you finding yourself floundering today as you are reflecting on the big picture of your life? Are you seeing a deficit that you don't know what to do with?
My prayer for us today, is that we would lean into the completed work of Jesus. I pray that we would trust him to take the old habits, old sins, old relationships, old bodies, old money, old mistakes and make it all new. This is what he does. It is why he came. It is his mission.
"Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17