At the beginning of this fresh, new year, you feel the rush and exhilaration of planning to be better. Better at relationships, exercise and eating well, time management…whatever it is, we all want to be better than we were last year. January first comes and feels like you are opening a huge gifted coupon of 365 “new mercies” to work with and towards and rest in this new slate. It truly is a beautiful thing, this recurring newness we receive every year, every day. However, somewhere during the year it becomes mundane and used again and we are already looking forward to the next year, often quicker than we anticipate.
I will give you a little insider’s view to me: I am an extroverted-introvert, pessimist. There I said it.
Give me something positive, and I can spew out 3 negative things about it or possibilities that could occur regarding the topic, situation or person.
…And I absolutely hate this about myself; it is the worst. I feel the words coming out, coated in nastiness and the antithesis of positivity and light, and it just feels so wrong. So dark and heavy.
These moments of negativity in my speech and attitude seem to add up and I feel like I am sinking sometimes and just want to hide. Hide from the shame of my attitude, from the patience and grace that I feel others extending me, trying to veer the conversation back into the light. It hurts and stings to know that I am not the friend that can be counted on to encourage.
But, praise God, this is not the end of my story. All hope is not lost.
I started this year wanting to be more positive, more faithful and diligent. Twelve days in, and I can tell you that my batting average is less than stellar. I started today totally skeptical that God could change my dark attitude, my exasperation and exhaustion and general huffiness. I use my baby and tiredness as an excuse, for missing out on past days, weeks, months of time with Lord and forget that He really is good, His word is truly alive and active and that He is always pursuing me.
Today he gently, patiently reminded me that he is able, more than able to accomplish in me what he needs me to be and accomplish through me something beyond my frailty, poorness in Spirit and neediness in affirmation and renewal. He can veer and change my heart and mind back into the light like no one else.
1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (though it feels more like He waited patiently for me and still inclined to me and heard my cry..)
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
Out of the miry bog, (miry bog- a slimy mud that entangles…yup, sounds just like it. Thank you for your deliverance Lord!)
And set my feet upon a rock,
Making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
A song of praise to our God. (A new song, a song of praise! A song of light, truth and grace! Yes!)
Many will see and fear,
And put their trust in the Lord…
5…You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
Your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
None can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
Yet they are more than can be told…
11…As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
Your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number;
My iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; (sometimes evils and iniquities can be self-inflicted, and just as painful as those from others, and the lies and downward spiral, even more detrimental)
They are more than the hairs of my head;
My heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!…
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
May those who love your salvation say continually,
‘Great is the Lord!’ (Amen!!)
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
But the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God!”
-Psalm 40, various verses (thoughts added by me)
Even if we have to start over again the next hour, tomorrow, or next month, I know I am safe in His care and that I am never too big of a mess for him to dust off, start over and be used for His glory. I am so thankful that His grace is not just new once every 365 days, but that we have the opportunity to experience His grace daily, moment by moment, and hopefully at the end of these next days, I can look back and say with confidence that He sustained me, He used for His purposes and that I am changed!
Thank you Lord for your mercy and forgiveness and for giving me a new song! Amen!
Also, PS, my baby who has been fighting naps for days and been super clingy has been napping for over an hour while I write this. This is a bigger gift than you know! Thank you Lord!!