I don’t understand how it is that time passes by more rapidly each year, but I bet some of you reading this post will testify along with me that, indeed, it does! 2012 has come and gone. Already, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year.
For me, as 2012 drew to a close, I reminisced of a work I believed God had called me to, that I have yet to fulfill. I thought about all the mistakes I had made over the years since I had received that assignment; and all the wrong turns I have taken. Yes, these regrets turned into a pity party. I believed I had ruined it for myself. I have sometimes acted like someone with asperger syndrome (maybe I actually have that), not picking up on social cues and lacking inborn social skills, such as being able to read body language or speaking tones. Several years ago, in my naiveness concerning the politics found in the Christian life, and not knowing when to be quiet and when to speak up, I felt I had most likely messed up the plan of God for my life. After all, God opens opportunities through people. Then God brought to my mind, as He has done so often when I begin to lack faith, that whatever we have messed up in the past He uses for good in our lives and the lives of others around us (Romans 8:28). And, I thought about the ways I was aware that He had clearly done that. For example, He has made some major changes in the way I think. He has made some character tweaks here and there as well. And, my social skills are improving daily. He reminded me that regardless of our failures, as His children, His gifts and calling are unchanged. He reminded me that every day is filled with grace, power, and new beginnings because that is the kind of God and Father He is!
After I left the pity party, refocusing on God instead of self, I began to set some goals for 2013 while reminding myself that my life belongs to God; therefore, I must hold them loosely in wide-opened hands. Should God want to change any of my plans; should He allow something unexpected to mess up my plan; or, should He allow me to stray away from my plan, I should remember He will use it for good because I am His, He loves me and I love Him (Romans 8:28). I don’t know if any of you have brought your regrets with you into the New Year, but if so, I want to encourage you to do what I did. Give them up! Remember, it isn’t about your mistakes; it is about who God is and that you are His!
Should you fail or fall any time in 2013, remember you don’t have to wait until January 1, 2014 to start over again. Every day is a new day filled with God’s grace for you. Every day you have the opportunity for new life because God is a God of new beginnings. He is a God who redeems the time and restores what is lost. Even when we have sinned or failed God desperately, it is not too late for us. God is always ready to restore us to Himself. His desire, ability, and will to bless us is always present. Every day we have the opportunity to start anew with a totally clean slate.
The Apostle Peter had made some hefty mistakes as had the Apostle Paul. Jesus did not forsake them, but loved them, and moved through them to change the world. Each day of this year, whether it is a day we have done it all right or done it all wrong, by the grace of God, let’s keep moving forward. Let’s say and do as the Apostle Paul did: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
In 2013, let’s live like God’s grace is stronger than all our faults and failures! Let’s live like His love is deeper than our hearts can fathom! Can we live like that? Yes, I believe we can! And when we do, together we could change the world!
I hope you will have time to listen to and enjoy the song by clicking on the link at the end of this post. This is my prayer for us all for 2013!
Prayers for a grace-filled 2013 – May it be your happiest yet with an ever increasing sense of God’s presence!
With Sister Love,