ARTICLE

A closer walk with the Lord

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NRSV


 


As one year comes to a close and the next year begins, I join the multitudes of people who take a look back at what has happened during the last 12 months and also take a look forward at what may happen during the next 12 months. As we celebrate New Year?s Eve and New Year?s Day, we ponder the potential possibilities for a new year.


In past years, I often became excited about making lists for everything that I wanted to accomplish differently since I had another chance. However, I too often became disappointed because my New Year resolutions never lasted more than a few days or weeks. So, as I bid farewell to 2014 and celebrate the arrival of 2015, I am drawn to deeper reflection about what God may want in my life during this New Year.


My mind wonders to a promise that is often calming to my anxious heart: ?God?s mercies are new every morning.? I look up this scripture text and I am surprised to find it in Lamentations. I read the full verses and rest in the peace of God?s Word.


No matter what happened in 2014 and no matter what will happen in 2015, God?s love never ceases and God?s mercies never come to an end. Every day is a new chance to draw closer to God?s compassionate presence. How great is God?s faithfulness to us!


When I pray this Biblical text into my life, I am less concerned about my lists of goals and more encouraged to focus on my relationship with God first. I am careful not to place unrealistic demands on myself about all of the spiritual practices that I could do, knowing that change happens slowly and does not usually come in one day. Rather, I reflect on small steps that can make a big difference ? one more prayer, a few minutes of silent listening for God?s voice, one devotional, a few verses of the Bible, one act of kindness or a few messages of encouragement added to each new day. These more manageable shifts in daily routine will most certainly create a healthier relationship with God and others.


If I miss today, tomorrow is always a new opportunity. I am recognizing the freedom of trusting in God?s love, mercy and faithfulness.


I pray that each of you ? as you enter this new year of life ? will also experience the greatest change that can happen any day of the year ? a renewed relationship with an always-loving God.