I have a confession to make:
I don’t hate Mondays. I don’t hate mornings either.
Judging by the popularity of all those clever cartoons and seriously unhappy-looking cat photos posted on Facebook, I realize I must be in a teeny-tiny — microscopic even — minority. But truthfully I’ve always loved Mondays. And mornings. And New Years. And any other occasion for a fresh, brand new start.
I just love to think and dream and plan what I’ll do with that new day, new week, new year!
So much hope and possibility in the air…
At least, that’s how I used to feel. Before I knew what could go wrong. Before I’d lived long enough to experience very much hurt or heartbreak, failure, disappointment and defeat.
Over time, I’ve found my joy in new beginnings has been tainted by other emotions … like worry and fear.
What if this ISN’T the year those prayers are answered or those dreams fulfilled?
What if I can’t accomplish all the things I want to do, all the things I need to do, all the things I believe God is calling me to — that He wants me to do?
What if all this dreaming and planning and praying is for nothing? All this purposing and resolving and committing… and recomitting?
What if I don’t make any progress on my goals? (To be honest, most of them haven’t changed much in the last 25 years!)
What if I just fall and fail again? And again. And again.
What if I’m stuck here — forever?
Thankfully I’m learning a few things as the years go by…
Learning in the very depths of my being, in my heart and soul — and not just my head — that God’s love for me has nothing to do with my performance. Nothing to do with my achievement or even my obedience. He loves me absolutely, always, completely. Unconditionally.
Learning to hold my goals and hopes and dreams — and especially my best-laid plans — loosely, in case God asks me to surrender them to Him (even if they first came from Him), in case He has other goals, other dreams, other plans for me. He often does.
Learning that the voice that tells me I’m a failure and that I should quit before I begin doesn’t come from Him. The louder it screams, the more suspicious I get that something really important, something totally amazing, something truly wonderful is on the other side — or I wouldn’t be encountering such opposition! I need to let it make me all the more determined to press in and press on until I experience a breakthrough.
Learning that my understanding of what constitutes progress or accomplishment or significance or success is not the same as God’s — and His is the one that counts!
Learning that I can never be “stuck” anywhere forever, for a bunch of reasons: The Scripture is clear that all our trials and tribulations “came to pass” — not to stay! And so many of the things I worry about or stress over are only for this life, anyway. I’ve got maybe 40 years — which, when I think how the last 40 have flown by… And then they’re off my to-do list forever!
Learning that while I’m here, while there are battles to be fought and won — and YES they can be won! — I am never on my own. Never alone.
“He, God Himself, has said, ‘I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down or relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!'” Hebrews 13:5 AMP
A couple days ago, I was looking in a bunch of different Bible translations to see if I could find any verses with the word God’s given me for this year: FEARLESS.
Here’s one I found, the verse I’m choosing to meditate on this week:
“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy (for our failures) and find grace to help in good time for every need (appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it).” Hebrews 4:15 AMP
What a wonderful way to start this day, this week, this month, this year — 2014!
Knowing that all the mercy and grace and help we’re going to need is already on the way.