I get a little giddy at the start of a new calendar year, don’t you? The possibilities seem endless, the slate is wiped clean, we have a fresh start. Then we often ruin it by creating mental lists of things we want to do. Lose more weight, eat healthier, read our Bibles more, exercise more, blah blah blah. Usually, three weeks or so into a New Year, we feel suffocated under such unrealistic expectations.
Did you know only 12% of Americans follow through with their New Year Resolutions? I find comfort in this sad statistic some days!
What if this year we stopped wanting to do more and instead we choose to focus on filling ourselves up with more of Jesus?
Last weekend, I found myself up before sunrise reflecting on all the craziness ahead in the new year. As I sat in the quiet of my home, with a warm cup of coffee in hand, I looked out at the beautiful maple tree in our front yard. This tree that has brought such beauty and joy into our lives over the past decade is being cut down soon. It’s the tree I often stare at while spending quiet time with the Lord. When my spirit was in a season of thanklessness during our infertility journey, I would often gaze at this sturdy tree and thank the Lord for its beauty and for the shade it provides our home in the warm afternoon sun.
This beautiful tree has stood solid, strong and firm in the same spot for almost 100 years. It has brought comfort and rest to many birds and squirrels long before our subdivision was built. It has provided me and my husband with quality entertainment as we’ve watched squirrels battle it out for “turf rights” to run up and down that tree.
As life changes, circumstances and people weave in and out of our lives, and seasons come and go, but Jesus is always with us. The great Emmanuel. The King of Kings. Our Lord is the strong, sturdy and constant presence that we can turn to in times of comfort.&
The Lord has filled my heart with hope for a year filled with endless opportunities to choose good over evil; kindness over crudeness; service over self. I even find myself looking forward to what this summer will bring with all the extra space in our yard due to the loss of that maple tree. More mini golf and croquet tournaments held in our front yard. More giggles and laughter and fun with close friends and family.
We have to-do lists a mile long and more than enough to keep us occupied and stressed. But we need to stop and reflect in the middle of our busy, beautiful lives:
Matthew 5: 14-15 – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”
Choose to rest on the beautiful hope that Jesus provides in the days ahead.
Just as the moon reflects the glory of the sun, we must let the light that is Jesus shine in us as we go throughout our busy days.
You are a light to this dark world. Let the brilliance of Jesus shine brightly in you!