The Christmas tree is down, extended family has returned home, the house is quiet, and the New Year has officially begun. For me, a new year is always connected to new beginnings and fresh starts. The closing of 2012 has now turned into the beginning of 2013, and, as always, I’m ready to eat healthier, exercise more regularly, purge my closet of items I don’t need, read the Bible more often, and set new goals.
I usually find myself reading books that will inspire me in this process and help me to practically work out the most efficient systems to attain the quickest and most effective results!
As I’ve pondered my own resolve to change and set new goals, I am reminded of many people I have visited this past year who remain in tent cities in Haiti, have rummaged through garbage dumps in Nicaragua, and continue to make their homes in the slums of Africa. These dear people are not considering such shallow resolutions and goals. More than likely, there is not a closet to clean out, a choice of food to cut back on, or even a new goal to set that would be more important than waking up and striving to make it through another day. The effects of poverty, disease, and economic struggle result in discouragement, desperation, and hopelessness.
As I consider goals for this New Year, my desire is to be further compelled by the Holy Spirit to acquire:
- Greater perspective for those in need.
- Deeper concern for those in distress.
- Increased passion for the rescue and care of orphans and those caring for them.
- Kingdom impact and full surrender to what matters most.
Making room for what matters most often requires a personal purging of the excess, but most importantly rests in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to call a life, be taken by the hand, and participate with what only Christ can do. The giving of hope that is found in the person of Jesus Christ will surely water the discouraged, dry, and wanting soul. I am filled with anticipation for what this year holds!
“Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 43: 5-9