We are (again) on the brink of a new year. Time truly waits for no one.
Tonight as I went for a walk with the dogs, I enjoyed the sunset and talked to God while reflecting over the past year of my life. I thought: If God gave me a few more days to end this year well, what would I do with it? How will I spend it? To make it worth it? That is perhaps the question to be asked in every day of my life.
On the one hand, I look at myself when I reflect on my year: The path I walked on and the way I dealt with the circumstances and the people around me. I shudder when I look at myself and the affords that I made by the arm of the flesh and how my way of conduct did not bring glory to God; in the conversations I had and the time I spent on things that do not have eternal worth. When I look at myself, I see nothing. Nothing I have done well this year in my own strength. Only weakness, misery, failed attempts, shallow thoughts, and selfish intentions.
On the other hand, I can only look at God. And when I keep my eyes on Him, I see a very blessed year that has passed. I see His work in my life, His grace around every corner and down every long and dark hallway. I came to know more of His power, His sovereignty and His tender hand that so lovingly disciplines me in conformity to His Son. When I look at God and His grace in my life, I see His power displayed in the most wonderful of ways: I see a changed life.
I learned that any day lived without Him will only result in idleness, brokenness, emptiness, and darkness. But a life truly lived with God WILL produce a new year filled with everlasting peace, exceeding joy and eternal fruit.
As this new year is peeking through the clouds and shedding light on hope for the future, I am reminded of 5 simple truths I have learned in 2019:
- Time alone with God is vital in the Christian’s life.
I thank the Lord that He has taught me to truly be alone.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” – Matt. 16:24
- We serve a God of second chances.
He has given me so many (always undeserved) second chances in life. Shouldn’t that cultivate more grace in me to also give others a second chance in life?
- It is not about me.
Everything I chased after, any worldly pursuits I have had and any time I spent that did not have eternal value were in vain. This world is fleeting, perishable; here today and gone tomorrow. Am I running this Christian race with all that I have?
Everything else is vanity…
“…what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.” – Ecclesiastes 2:17
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. – John 17:3
- I can do everything through Him who strengthens me.
I can sum up my year with this verse.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:12-13
- The best truly is yet to come.
As with every new year in my life, I realize that there are way, way better things ahead than any I leave behind.
With every new day, His mercies are new, His grace abounds and takes me one day closer to meeting Jesus.
David Mathis said in one of his articles: “Vital as prayer and fellowship are, all spiritual life and health and growth begin, just as creation, with the word of God (Genesis 1:3). What we do each morning in the first fifteen to thirty minutes of our day is doubly revealing: it reveals both where our treasures truly lie, as well as the trajectory of desires and decisions that will direct the day and, over time, our life.”
In God’s providence, He has placed you exactly where you are today – He has equipped you with everything you need and all you have to do is to meet with Him every new morning in prayer and seek to carry out the tasks that are laid before you for that day.
He is all we need for another year.