Like some people, I’ve given up on making New Year’s resolutions. I wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I would make a long list of resolutions for the year, one for each area of my life. Now, I’ve changed my approach. I still think about what I should focus on and what I would like to see us do as a family in the upcoming year, but my focus has changed.
These days, as a new year begins, I think about all of those resolutions that I have not seen come to pass. I think about those situations where I am still waiting for God to come through and make things better, to radically change everything like only He can. I’ve realized that for many of us, it’s our biggest struggle -To wait patiently. And if I can be completely honest it’s my impatience that can often lead me into making an idol out of my resolutions and life goals. It can lead me to lose hope completely on the one thing that I should be focused on. Instead, with a heart full of frustration and impatience, my eager expectation can slowly turn into despair and defeat.
This is not the way to begin the year and in a culture where most New Year’s resolutions have long been forgotten by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, I suspect that we are all a bit lost on how to approach this whole resolution thing.
And as in all things, God is not surprised to see us struggle with this. He knows all too well that if we make the mistake of placing our hope in ourselves, in others or in the world that it will lead only to our despair. He knows that while waiting patiently is not easy for even the most faithful Christian, it is utterly unbearable if we don’t depend on His strength and grace to do it.
His Word tells us,
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
In the trials and in the pursuit of those things He has put in my heart to do this year, I pray that I can stay focused on His agenda and not my own. I pray that I can wait patiently, not because I think that is what a good Christian should do, but because God needs me to learn that His timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11). I pray that I can step back from each to-do list and ask myself, what is my motivation for doing this? And if I ever start to feel defeated, I pray that I can look to Him for strength and soar like an eagle.