And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is
perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast
about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)
When a year comes to a close, many say, “I am so glad it’s over!” A fresh start is looming and necessary; so necessary, we get almost giddy with excitement for the chance to begin again. Sometimes the previous year had so much difficulty, we just want to forget it all together and start afresh. We need a new year, a clean slate, a new chance to make a difference in this world, and a chance to accomplish unmet goals from the previous year.
2011 is complete; a book of our lives finished, closed, and put on the shelf to be thought of in memory. I wish to remember with fondness the good times, and learn something of value from less than pleasant moments. I wish, like you, that the less than pleasant moments could be forgotten, but I also know that our Lord wants us to continue to learn as we remember.
When I read 2 Corinthians 12:9 (And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.) I was immediately reminded that though there are things I regret and would rather not re-live from 2011, there are many of those things I am to learn from and allow others to see in me.
It’s not easy to let others see our weaknesses, but God wants us to expose our weaknesses in order to help us and others learn and grow in faith. If we set a proper example of how to deal with the ups and downs of life, we are showing others how true Christ-followers behave during weak moments. This, I will fully admit is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I do not fail well in front of others, nor do I suffer at the hands of others well. Sometimes I’d rather just fall apart, crawl in a deep hole, and wait for a brand new day, week, month, or year to begin. God, of course, will not let me, or you, do this. He has other plans, plans to use our weaknesses as growth hormones for our character and faith. More often than not, it is the uncomfortable moments that bring us closer to our Maker than the light and breezy times.
2012 will be a new book of you. Its pages are currently blank. Many chapters will be written. Many of the words and pages are up to you, while some will be added to by others who love you and some who don’t. Albeit unintentional, you will disappoint and hurt the ones you love, yet also bring great joy, love, and laughter.
Let me be one of the first to encourage you on this new journey, this New Year. I, for one, intend to do my utmost to ask God’s direction each and every day. I do not want one page added to my 2012 book that does not have something of God on it. Last week I wrote a New Year prayer. Did you write yours? If not, it’s not too late. You don’t have to share it with anyone if you don’t want to. It can be just between you and God. But do write it.
I plan on reading my New Year prayer often. I want and need a constant reminder of why I get out of bed every day. I will ask God each day to point me in the right direction, to lead the way and light the path. I want 2012 to be a year of knowing I am doing my absolute best to follow the plan God has, and not stray off on my own.
The new book of you has begun. What do you want the first chapter to say? I pray the first line in each of our books will be: “Here I am God. What would You have Your child do? Lead me and guide me as I do my best to follow You.”
Will you join me? Will you commit to asking the Lord each and every day for His purpose, His direction, and His next step in your life? I hope so. This time next year, we will look back at 2012 with a smile on our faces. Not because we’ve had a perfect year, but because we will know we did our best to be in lockstep with our Maker.
Heavenly Father, I love You more than words can say. Please lead me and guide me in my every step, word, and deed. Help me show my faith in frailty as well as mountain top moments. May my weaknesses be perfected in You.
In His embrace,
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. Psalm 127:1 NASB
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