A new year is upon us, and I, for one, am very happy to welcome it! I feel this way every year, but it’s especially strong this year. Twenty-fourteen has been one of those desert wandering sort of experiences, as if I’m walking in circles, getting nowhere fast, grumbling all the way. My theme for 2014 was fruitful—my prayer was for the 12 months of 2014 to add up to something lasting, something that honored Jesus. hmm. I’m not so sure that happened. Perhaps 2014 was the preparation year so that I might be fruitful some year way in the future? Perhaps I’m some sort of mutant citrus tree that takes decades to produce. Let’s go with that.
Honestly, I’d like to hold up my year to everyone, pointing to my feats, excusing away my disasters, and rallying sympathy for my stumbles. It would make me feel better to have lots of cheers and solace. But over the past month, I’ve been reminded of something God started teaching me 10 years ago, about resting in the rescue of Jesus. Resting in what Jesus has done for me means that I don’t need to run about like a crazy person trying to prove my worth and hide my shortcomings. I want my heart to settle into all that Jesus has done for me and find rest for my weary soul. This past year wasn’t all I had hoped or meant it to be, but that doesn’t alter my place in Christ. Rest is what I need.
Because of Jesus, I can put 2014 behind me and move on, trusting that God is for me, not against me. I am so grateful! It’s like what the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi:
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12–14, The Message)
What will 2015 hold? I’m working on my theme for the year and some goals. I’ll share those soon. For now, I’m echoing Paul’s words:
I do not have it all together, but I’m moving forward. I’m reaching out for Christ, who continues to reach out for me. I’m off and running—and I’m not turning back.
What was 2014 like for you? Are you off and running toward 2015?