2016 is quickly approaching. In just a few hours, we will ring in the new year with high hopes and expectations. We will exhale and believe that 2016 is the year. The year where we will finally become who we’ve always wanted to be. The year where the pain and baggage we carry daily will disappear. And maybe for a few moments, a few days- it will. Maybe you’ll follow through with your New Year resolutions for three or four weeks. Maybe for a moment, when the clock strikes twelve, you’ll exhale and you’ll feel light and you’ll laugh and dance and for a moment the burdens of life will fade away. And maybe 2016 will be your year. But maybe, just maybe, the struggles you face on a day to day basis will reappear on January 2nd. And after countless trips to the gym and a lack of sweets, you’ll find that you’re still the same you. The turn of a calendar year has left you as the same person you’ve always been.
The thing about New Year Resolutions is that they put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be better, do better, feel better. The number one thing that I learned throughout 2015 is that if success, satisfaction, achievement, and fulfillment are left up to me- I’m screwed. I am a sucky god. When I try to take the reins of life into my own hands, things don’t end up so well for me. My emotions, my self-discipline, my willpower- it all falls short. When I try to control myself, the people around me, and my circumstances, I just end up tired.
My word for 2015 was “purity”. Looking back, I see that God has really purified me of myself. I’ve always done life on my own terms, pushing God to the side. I never fully trusted Him to lead me and take care of me. But throughout this year, one of the hardest years of my life I must say, God has shown me how to put me aside and allow Him to do the rest.
1 Peter 5:6-7 says “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
I believe that faith and humility go hand in hand. Humility is trusting God. Trying to control life circumstances and people is prideful. Pride proclaims self. Pride believes that it can handle life better than God can handle life. Faith trusts God even when things don’t look and feel the way we may want them too. It is when you truly trust God that you can give him your fears. You can trust God because He loves you.
He loves you more than anyone on this earth ever will. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He will never leave you or forsake you. He wants you to find abundant life through Him. And most importantly, we know God loves us because He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins.
Jesus said from the cross “it is finished”. He paid it all so that we can have relationship with our Heavenly Father. He saved us from ourselves so that we don’t have to. That’s the gospel. That’s abundant life. Resting in what Jesus has done for us, when we were so underserving.
As I journey into 2016, that’s what I’ll be doing. Resting in who Jesus is and first and foremost chasing after His heart. Sure, I want to get to the gym more and start blogging consistently, but I’ve made a commitment to pursue Jesus, because I know that He’s greater than anything the world has to offer. He will take care of me, He always has. And He’ll take care of you too, if you let Him. It’s a journey. It’s becoming more like Him. It’s letting go of yourself and your fear and your worries because He cares for you and He has big plans for you. At the end of it all, if all you’ve gotten is more of Jesus, it’s worth it. He’s why we’re here and He’s where we are going.
Now that doesn’t mean you sit on your butt, with no goals and dreams and motivation. I don’t believe that following Jesus will ever lead to a life of inactivity. That’s not who He is. That’s not the life He’s called us to. But the ultimate ends of our dreams should be to bring glory to God. Get in the gym, take care of the body that God has given you. Work hard in school, educate yourself so that you can make a difference. Love the people around you deeper than you ever have. Apply to your dream school. Play the sport you love. Slow down and enjoy life. But most importantly, chase after the heart of Jesus.
So here’s to 2016- a year of finding, a year of becoming, a year of going. It’s not up to you. Only He can make you new.