I find there is something so hopeful and cleansing about a New Year. It is a new beginning, a clean slate, so to speak to begin anew. New Years for many brings about the typical resolutions of getting into shape, losing weight, getting out of debt and more time with family and friends. I know I definitely need to get in better shape and lose a few pounds, I desire to be a wise steward of our finances and spending more time with loved ones is a priority.
I want to consider how can I get more spiritually fit this year? How do I strengthen my spiritual resolve and lose the flab of apathy, distraction and over-busy schedules? How do I begin to exercise my faith by fully serving my God? Will I willingly lift the weights of bearing burdens of others and lifting their needs in prayers or meeting them in my actions? How can we practically adjust our schedules so we are not getting to bed too late and oversleeping so we miss our daily workout of time alone with Him in His Word and prayer?
This fall was a perfect storm of circumstances that lead to crazy schedules and workouts both physical and spiritual often falling to the wayside. It was a combination of my physical ailments which included 6 weeks of bad chemo side effects (I am on low dose chemo for a form of chronic leukemia) followed by painful, swollen joints while Joel was culminating an IT conversion that was a project 3 years in the making. While he spent several weeks of 70 hour work weeks plus time on the computer in the evenings at home; I felt like a combo of early pregnancy and a bad flu bug. In the midst of this we both had church responsibilities that absorbed our remaining time and energies.
By Christmas the storm had passed and we emerged to celebrate and assess the damages the winds had caused. We realized how destroyed schedules had robbed us of time in the Word and prayer as individuals and as a couple. We saw the emotional, physical and spiritual damage of being worn out and spent. We saw the debris of harsh words, selfish attitudes and misplaced expectations. But we also saw the bright sunlight of hope and renewal.
New Year’s Eve as we reflected as a couple over what were the biggest challenges and the greatest blessings of 2012 and what we wanted to see in 2013, I was struck with how great is my Savior’s faithfulness and love. I think the following verses best express my hopefulness and joy as I ponder the blank slate of 2013.
His mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.