A Fresh Start

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

I like to start the new year with goals for the upcoming trip around the sun. This past year, I had a goal to go to the gym at least 12 times per month which lasted until June, and then I picked it back up again. I had the common goal of losing weight like most people, which happened much later in the year than I had anticipated. I wanted to be the “flaco twin” instead of the “taco twin”, but my self-will was not strong and my love of tacos far exceeded my desire to lose weight. I did not meet all my goals, but I did meet some. The failure in not meeting all my goals will not stop me from setting new ones and there are some goals that I will carry into every new year God allows me to have. I know some do not like to make resolutions, but I find them to be helpful in keeping me focused throughout the year.

The New Year is a fresh start when we can reset and refocus on the new year God has given us. I remember moving to Chicago in the winter of 1994, and the cold air was a rude awaking to someone from Phoenix, Arizona. I was used to lows being in the high 40s at the coldest, and I was now experiencing temperatures that matched my age at the time. Darkness came at 4:30pm and everything seemed so drabbed and dreary. The leftover snow would build up in the parking lot and would get quite dirty from the cars that parked next to it or ran into it. It was far from white and almost looked like a big pile of blacktop. You would also see this on the sides of the road where the snow would build up on the edges. The snow would always get dirty as it melted on the ground and would get mixed up in the dirt. I had never lived in snow, so this took some getting used to. I will never forget my first snow fall as it gave me a new perspective on what snow could look like.

I went to bed one night, and I looked out my window before hitting the hay. The dark and gloomy sky wished me goodnight as I snuggled under my blankets to escape the Chicago cold. The morning came and it seemed like someone had turned on a bright light in my room. I did not see a light, so I looked out my window where the light was coming from and there was fresh snow on the ground. The snow was pure and there were no tire tracks or mud marking the whiteness and brightness of the snow. The snow had a glow to it like nothing I had ever seen before. I was used to seeing dirty and ugly snow, but this was something to behold. I came to love a fresh new snow even though it meant I would soon have to shovel it for the next few hours. I have always looked at a fresh snow fall as a new start, such as a new year brings. A time to create new tracks, and a time to start afresh. Although I moved back to the warm valley, I still remember the snow with a bit of fondness.

I am not sure what God will allow in my life in the new year, but I do have some spiritual, mental, physical, and relational goals I would like to meet. I have learned I am a fool if I plan things on my own and fail to acknowledge God in my plans. I do know one thing that is constant – God’s mercies sustain me from day to day. It is of His mercy that I have breath and a heartbeat. Every year, every morning, it is a new start and a testament to the faithfulness of almighty God. I am not sure what plans He has for me, but I do know that I will not be able to exhaust His mercy or find Him unfaithful in my life. I pray we allow God to work in our lives this year, and may we thank Him for His everlasting mercy and faithfulness.

Do you have goals and plans for the new year? Have you included God in those aspirations? Do you desire to draw closer to Him than you did in the previous year? Will this new year be a fresh start for you as you allow God to work in your life? May we taste and see that the Lord is good, and may we sing with a loud voice, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”!

Stay in the Fight!

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