Monday, November 19, 2012

New Every Morning

Unless you're a natural optimist and experienced achiever, the prospect of New Year's resolutions--or of "making a change" at any time of year--can start to feel like a cruel joke after age 35. "What's the use of trying again; I always fail" is a cry-of-the-heart for many who once had big dreams for building the perfect life but are now looking at their current lives in despair, thinking that if it were meant to be they'd surely have it right by now. While a toddler learning to walk will "try, try again" after a hundred or a thousand tumbles, adults are cursed with the knowledge that not everything is possible--and most of us are all too quick to turn that knowledge into the syllogism, "If something is impossible, I will fail when I try to do it. I failed when I tried to do this. Therefore, this is impossible." Instead of putting past mistakes behind us, we let them stand in front, blocking our view of future possibilities.

They are likely also blocking our view of the God of all possibility. It's not for nothing that the Bible tells us to "become like little children" and that God's eternal faithfulness is marked by mercies that are "new every morning." Probably the reason so many of us hate getting out of bed in the morning is that we have lost the ability to see the new day as truly new. We're sure that the day will only bring more of the same old miserable drudgery--and that belief quickly turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy. What little faith we have, refusing to look for new and better possibilities because we have no hope of finding any and see no point in putting ourselves to that kind of work.

Before you go to bed tonight, why not get out the concordance and look up all the times the Bible uses the word "new"? Pick four or five verses that speak of new life in God, meditate on them thoroughly, and pray that they will be on your mind when you awaken.

Then see if getting up tomorrow isn't a little easier. 

Lord, give me, just for today,
The strength to resist temptation,
Pure joy in my vocation,
A heart filled with satisfaction—
Be with me each step of the way:
Give me strength not to dread circumstances,
Nor to dwell on my own plans or actions,
But to take every moment that happens
As a gift from Your hand, I pray.