It is a time of renewed hope for a better year and a better “me.” We will start our diets, set our sights on being a better friend, wife, mother....etc. We will resolve to be a little kinder, a little more helpful; to take care of ourselves and put our priorities in the right place. It seems to me that everyone is a little peppier today, a little happier; that everyone smiles a little more. It is a new day full of hope. We get to start again. (well....sort of... you know...)
I am reading through the Old Testament again (I have grown to love the Old Testament dearly. It is my addiction.). But, no matter how often I read it, I never fail to be awed at the patience of our God. Over and over again ( Joshua 24, I Kings 18, Micah 4, II Kings 22, etc.) the people 'resolve" to turn from their evil ways and serve their Lord. And over, and over, and over again they don’t. But, He knew they wouldn’t, right? But, I am always amazed at God’s hope. He never, ever gave up on us...never changed His mind...never thought it was too hard...never...ever.
I couldn’t help but think of all of the resolutions we will make today and in the coming weeks....and all of those that we will abandon. Perhaps we will resolve to eat healthier, or maybe we will resolve to exercise more, or we might even resolve to read our Bible every day and spend a little more time in prayer. But...maybe we made those same resolutions last year. I admit that I fear that we are no better than those Israelites who resolved.... and resolved.... and chose... and chose to put away their idols and serve God only to turn back to their old selfish ways ( Proverbs 22:11, 2 Peter 2:22 – God puts it in a more graphic way).
BUT, the fact that we woke up again this morning, as we did yesterday, and the day before is not happenstance. The sun didn’t just come up on its own. We face another year of hope, and are filled with the possibilities that the “new” year brings ONLY by the grace of our Father, only because of His lovingkindness, and ONLY because of His mercy. It is ONLY because of the patience of our Father and our Savior that we continue to exist on this planet (Col 1:17). It isn’t our doing. But, today is a great time to reflect and consider what we will do with the time He has offered us today....and tomorrow...and the next...IF He does. Each day is a good day for a resolution as long as God’s patience and mercy endures.
Just remember-- God never broke His resolution (....”therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Is 50:7) His resolve saved us. Aren't we glad that He never forgot? Aren't we glad that He never grew tired of the plan? Aren't we glad that He never failed to stay focused on His resolution?
Josiah offers a great example that it is never too late for a resolution:
And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. Josiah 23:1-3.
Now THAT sounds like the perfect resolution to me.