"It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because his [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning;
great and abundant is your stability and faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:23,24 (AMP)
I'm not in to New Year's Resolutions. It seems like we make them hoping we can fulfill our goals. But when we inevitably give up, well....when I inevitably give up...it just feels like failure. I see no reason to set myself up to fail. But.....
I do believe in second chances.
I do believe in do-overs.
I do believe in new beginnings.
I serve a God who is known for giving second chances; and third, and fourth, etc.
I serve a God who loves me enough to give me a "do-over".
I serve a God who is the author of new beginnings.
Yesterday I was feeling a little down. The holidays tend to do that to me. It started about 21 years ago; not sure if it was because we left all our families in Texas or if it's the long, dark dreary winters here in the Northwest. Maybe a bit of both. But I do know that if I'm not careful I can find myself in the dumps very easily. And then of course, this was the first Christmas without my Mom and Aunt Jo; and Mitchell, my 19 year old son who moved to Georgia this summer. And looking back over the last year and all the changes and difficult times we've had....well, I began to throw myself a mini pity party and found myself having a conversation with God....
"You know what, God? I have spent this entire year wishing it was over.....and now it is. But what is different? Mom is still gone; Mitchell is still in Georgia; it's still winter in the northwest; and my family still lives in Texas. What did I think as going to happen? All of a sudden I would wake up on January 1 and I would feel better? All of this waiting didn't accomplish anything....when I look back on 2011 from my perspective all I really see is a lot of wasted time. So what now?"
Ok, it wasn't so much a conversation as it was a soliloquy.
But, God in His faithfulness gently and quietly reminded me that while a lot of my circumstances have not changed, He does not change, either. And through this whole time, in every circumstance and every trial, He has been there doing His part. But I just kept waiting for the year to be over. I have a mental picture of a little child who has been hurt. This wounded, crying child runs to their father and climbs up in His lap for comfort, which the father gives. There is a moment of being consoled, and then one of just resting in the comfort of his arms. But before long, the child jumps up and is on the run again.
I have been consoled;
I have been comforted;
but I didn't get back on the run again.
Because the reality is, life is different.
And I don't like the changes.
I'd rather sit in my Father's lap and be comforted.
And, truth be told...pout.
As Lamentations points out, it is because of His mercy and love that I have not been consumed by all of this; his compassion is never ending and we get a fresh supply of them each and every morning.
I'm not the only one who has had a rough year. My sisters have each struggled with the loss of our mom and aunt. Other friends have lost family members this year. Many are struggling with health issues; lost employment; lost homes.... life changing circumstances. And we have all been comforted by a loving Father.
Because God is a God of second chances, do-overs, new beginnings.
And so, let's not receive this grace in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1); let's finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given us...the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. (Acts 20:24).
It's time to step down out of His lap and get back to business...His business. He has things for me to do...plans, purposes, a future, hope. And while I may step down out of His lap, I will never be out of His sight, never be out of His arms...
Because He holds my world in His hands.