Aside

20091106sunrise_large
As the sun rose on the first morning of this new year, in a quiet place, my heart held a word.
{Oh sweet Jesus, give me the words to share it as beautifully as you gave it.}

New years seem to highlight all we desire to change. We tend to seize the opportunity for a fresh start. And in the coming months, we struggle and strive (more often than not), often to no avail. We set out boldly, only to succumb to defeat. We crave clean-slates, second chances and fresh hope, but many times, end up deeper in despair.

Oh, it isn’t for lack of want.
No, sweet friend, I know too well the depth of desire for real change.

We desire the freedom to walk without the snares of life that seem to trip us up. We wrestle and wriggle and run from the places we struggle. It’s nothing new. We’ve been doing it for years. A good portion of us have already vowed that this is the year to lose the weight. Another portion of us have made the declaration of complete organization in the home. Still others speak words of resolution to stop using tobacco, overspending, to call mom more, yell at the kids less, and only eat out twice a month.

Most of us make it a couple of weeks, at best. Some of you may hammer it out…but few, very few of you are able to make a change on January 1st that sticks. So we spend the rest of the year in the rut we were in last year, and sometimes, the rut gets deeper and harder to get out of. But then, a new year comes…along with the feeling of hope. {I can do it this year. I can lose the weight. Be a better mom. Keep the laundry from spilling over the sides of the laundry basket, out the bathroom and into the hall…er, um, cough, cough…so I’ve heard that’s a struggle for some.}

And the cycle continues.

Oh, now don’t get me wrong. The desire for these things are real. We desperately want out of the ruts.
But in the middle of our desire for change, try as we may…we often fail.

Seems something is missing.
Something vital.

{Wholeness.}

We crave wholeness.
Wholeness is, at it’s root, freedom from strongholds.

Wholeness develops from a place of rest. Holy rest. Rest that comes from a ceasing of wrestling, wriggling and running (say that 3x’s fast!). Rest that comes from trusting that the One who allowed struggles and strongholds intends them for His glory AND your good.

{Psst…Sidebar: God doesn’t do something for His glory that isn’t for your good. What he allows, in His infinite wisdom may seem cruel, unjust or harsh, but is never, ever, random or without purpose. I believe that more than you know. One of the hardest, most painful seasons in our marriage was a miscarriage. I could weep over that little one now. I could not, for the life of me, understand WHY He would allow us to see a little life on a sonogram and then take it before we held it. Years later, after much time and healing, he has allowed countless conversations with younger women who are in the throes of similar pain. Will I hold that child in heaven someday? I fully believe, YES. And oh the joy that awaits me there! Do I understand now why that difficult season was allowed? To the best of my finite understanding, yes. All that to say, whatever it is that you are struggling with now is meant to bring Him glory AND good to you. I promise.}

Which brings me back to where we started.
New Year’s Resolutions.
Wholeness.

So, what if, instead of “resolutions”, we chose to focus on wholeness this year?
Where would we begin?

Jesus, sweet one.
Jesus.

Instead of loud proclamations and big words (Which I’ve been known to do on this silly blog..geez I’ve got a big mouth sometimes), what if we turned our attention to the only One who can really bring it about? Strongholds (anything that makes us feel overwhelmed, controlled or mastered) lose their power when we put Jesus in the middle. Take the WWR’s (wrestle/wriggle/run) places and put them at the foot of the Cross. A stronghold of fear doesn’t stand a chance in the face of the One who walked on water. A stronghold of self-control doesn’t stand a chance against the One who fasted 40 days and nights in the wilderness. The very same One who healed the blind man can heal you. The One that fed 5,000 can be trusted with your finances. It will take all the faith you have, but He won’t fail you.

If you choose to rest in Him and seek His wholeness this year, you won’t fail. I’m not implying that it won’t require active participation on your part, via prayer and studying the Word. But sister, I can tell you for certain that any area of your life you want to see changed forever must begin with Him. Oh dear one, as I would tell my own child – it is worth it! Giving up the reliance on ourselves to make changes and putting ourselves dab-smack at the foot of His holy robes will be the best, most rewarding change you could make! Sister in Christ, you are loved. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. And He desires wholeness and freedom from strongholds for you. Trust Him with it, will you?

Ah yes, well, it is time for me to close….and, as always, I come to the end of a post the same way I do when it’s time to end a coffee-date with a friend. I’m awkward on a normal basis, so tying up the loose ends on a blog where I can’t see your face always leaves me a bit uncomfortable. Add in the retired school teacher in me, and I feel like I need to ramble on until I know for absolute sure you’ve got the message. So, to keep from more rambling, I leave you with a few homework questions. Nothing to turn in to me (grin), just things you might spend some time talking to the Lord about. I bet you will find the time quite worth it.

Blessings of wholeness and rest to you in this new year.
Much affection, Kristi

How are my New Year’s resolutions tied to my desire to be whole in You?
Where am I wrestling/wriggling/running?
What areas of my life do I need to give You control?
What portion of the Bible do you desire for me to study as we walk this year, Lord?
Would you give me a Bible verse to strengthen me?

Resolutions and Rest

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