As I think about the new year coming I can't help but look back on a year so full and rich with God's ever-present hand directing and leading my path; never too quickly, never too slowly. It's really quite remarkable. Sometimes before we can look forward we have to take a good look behind us to see how far we've come. Sometimes we're disappointed. Sometimes we can't believe we made it to this very moment alive. I've been there ... survival mode... for long periods of time. That's a hard one to move past and I know many there now. But once you make some progress in the right direction you begin to see the path God has laid before you. That's the perfect time to start plotting your course!
Looking to the future too soon and too often can sometimes leave us empty in the present. I like to look at the past. Not to dwell on the negative, but to pick and choose the great things that have happened and chart a map of progress. To revisit the good things, the important things, gives us a healthy perspective of where we want to go and how we're going to get there. But what happens when we look back and find minimal progress and realize our map reads in the negative more than the positive? Let's face it, we all have seasons of JUNK!
My solution (if you're a Christian) is to go back to your first love, Jesus, and start there. If you're not a Christian, go back to your first love, Jesus, and start there. Just because He loved you first doesn't mean it doesn't count as a "first love". No matter how far we come, sometimes we simply lose our way. Sometimes we forget why we do the job we do. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life that we forget who put the desire in our hearts to what we do to begin with. We need to be refreshed, renewed, and restored in Him!
Do you remember a day when you were so consumed with JOY that you thought you would burst? If so, go back there to that very moment and recapture it. Start there and see if God doesn't meet you there. I bet He will. If you haven't felt this unspeakable JOY, then ... well ... we need to talk cause you may not be up to par when it comes to participation. ;)
I pray that as you start a new year, you are refreshed, renewed, and restored. I pray that you have strength to release any grudge you hold, any resentment or anger you have in your heart, and that you find healing- miraculous healing- in doing so. I pray that JOY replaces all of these things in your life. Amen.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
II Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,