My boy has me up bright and early this first morning of 2011. It is bitter cold and windy outside, and thanks to having to let the puppy out, I got to take in the first fresh air of a new year. Ah, optimism, hope and resolution recharge the human spirit on January 1 of any new year. For about 10 minutes or so.
This turning over of the calendar year has a certain “feel” to it, but it’s not like something magical happened overnight and the slate is wiped clean, an entirely new canvas was dropped from the sky, or a cosmic “reset” button was pushed. We still bring into 2011 all of the mindsets, attitudes, issues and circumstances we had a mere few hours before. Still, we hear a drumbeat a little louder coming from our hearts and our minds. It sounds a little like possibility.
But, I propose that God intents for us to wake up to that drumbeat every day. For renewal happens not in an instant, but a bit more each day until change comes. But is it even accurate to say that change “comes”? Or is it really doggedly and steadily pursued, sought, untangled, revealed, chosen along a long walk of obedience and faith in the same direction?
God is teaching me that He is all about renewal and restoration, but I have a very active part to play so that I may “agree” to all He wants to do in me, through me, for me. I was praying one day and God spoke to my spirit that “Often when my people come to me in prayer, they are looking for ‘relief,’ but what I want for them is total restoration, and that’s going to take some time.” One is fast-acting, but the other is long-lasting; which do I really want? Am I willing to engage fully in the process of renewal and restoration?
Check out these verses:
…for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, and have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. Colossians 3:9-11 (Amplified)
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:2 (Amplified)
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:22-24
So really, this new year, I’m going to continue to trust God to do his part: renewal and restoration for me, for my son, for my husband. I have defined the places that need renewal and restoration, I have formalized my petitions and understand the character and promises of God that back up his will and desire to bring them to pass. Now my part is really engaging with a process: a concoction of possibility, promise, practice, perseverance and patience–all wrapped up in faith. Here’s to each new choice in each new day of this new year!