So, it is January 15, 2010. How are your resolutions holding up (if you made any)? Are the plans that you had for the New Year progressing as you’d hoped?
Maybe you are like me, and you approach the New Year as a time to reflect on the past year, observe the areas you’d like to do better, and dreamed about new adventures to tackle and dreams to accomplish. And, maybe like me you’ve already experienced some setbacks, and it’s just feeling like the old you and 2009 all over again. It is easy to get caught up in pessimism in such moments. Such was the case this morning.
And then, God in his kindness, brings along the word I need.
I am reading through the book Comforts From The Cross, a chapter each morning, when I spend time with the Lord in Word and Prayer. Here was the word Elyse Fitzpatrick wrote just for me this morning:
We are so frequently misguided about God’s plans. Day by day we measure our progress toward anticipated goals; we judge God’s faithfulness and our performance by the proximity of the desired accomplishment. “Is everything progressing as it should? Am I getting through this rough patch? Are my kids achieving? Am I paying down my debt? Is my boss finally appreciating me?”
And then the kids fail (again!); foreclosure looms; we discover taht the boss not only doesn’t appreciate us, but he’s actually considring demoting us. “Hold on!” we think. “This isn’t what I signed up for. This isn’t right. I’ve followed God. Where is he now that I really need him? What happened to all the plans we made together?”
We suffer because we mistakenly believe that God’s goals and our goals are identical. Into this confusion and sorrow, your Savior, who isn’t insensible to your pain, speaks. “I have said these things to you, that in my you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The Gospel dispels darkness and confusion…Peace begins to fill my soul when I remember the truth of the gospel: I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, [and] more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope. I deserve less than nothing but have been given everything.
Jesus Christ has overcome the world!…Peace can flood our souls, because our trust isn’t misplaced…the world will not triumph over him, and so, by implication, it will not triumph over us…Does it feel like night? Be of good cheer; morning will dawn. He has overcome the world.
What release the peace of Christ flooding into the heart can bring! What comfort from the cross, knowing that in his victory and departure, he has sent the Holy Spirit to give us everything we need: to bring all his teaching to mind, to remove anxiety and fear, to bring security because he is in us and we are in him, to enlighten us to the reality that we are not alone, not orphaned, and not deserted.
So instead of feeling overcome this morning, I am now praising God that his plans are greater than my plans, his thoughts greater than my thoughts, and that he is a loving Father who dotes on this sometimes (oftentimes) forgetful child.