Whether you brought the new year in with the bang of fireworks or in a more subdued manner, the start of another year stirs up euphoria and optimism quite like no other time. Stepping into the new year has the masses pledging to be better….do better.
Whether we dress them in things called resolutions or more finely attired in goals or simply wrapped it in one word, we all have had hopes and expectations for the year ahead.
Yet I have found myself declaring some of the same words year after year. Only to find those hopes and expectations dwindle midway through the year. It’s exciting to start something new but staying the course isn’t always comfortable or easy when you do not see the results you expected.
I’m reminded of Rizpah, one of Saul’s concubines, standing on the rock for five months keeping the birds and other prey from the bodies of her dead sons until they received a proper burial. (See 2 Samuel 21:10). Like any mother, I’m sure she had hopes and expectations for her children. Imagine how uncomfortable it must have been to be there day in and day out seeing the bodies of her children there but she stayed in place.
How do you maintain your motivation and hope when you see your fellow sisters enjoying spring, while it looks like winter in your life?
How do you hold onto hope after you prayed but your heart’s desire has still not been fulfilled?
While many are celebrating the beginning of a new year being a fresh start, truth is a date on the calendar doesn’t declare the ending of certain areas of pain in our lives. Some hurts, pains, concerns, worries, losses, wounds, longings, unfilled dreams ….walked right over into 2014 with us.
What do we do with those things that we carried over with us? How do we start fresh in light of the old things that linger?