New year, new you, right? We know. We've all heard it, we've all said it. This will be the year I _____. And sometimes it's successful, sometimes it's a week and a half in and I'm done type thing. Whatever your new years' resolution or goals, we all tend to compare our present circumstances and situations to those of the past. We tend to compare our breakthroughs, pains, highlights, whatever of our yesterdays to the "dullness" of our today. We tend to think about how things turned out (good or bad) for us the last year and dwell on the past rather than being truly present.
I caught myself doing it again before the new year even arrived. Finding myself constantly thinking back to the amazing things God did in my life the last year, all He delivered me from and set me free from, all He taught me and the intimacy with Him I grew in, I found myself completely unconnected from my present moments, what God was speaking and wanting to do now, because I was dwelling on the past. Through the words of others, books, and (mainly) that voice that speaks to my soul in only the way He can, I heard the Lord, with an ache for me in His voice, saying
"Oh child... please, please don't settle. That was only the beginning. Last year was only the beginning. What I did then can be looked back on with gratitude, but should not be looked upon in jealousy. What I have here, what's up ahead and what's right now is way beyond your yesterdays. I never stop my work in you, your heart and your life. Believe, believe for more. I am doing a new thing in you today... if you would just tune in."
The first day of this new year, I'll be honest, I felt unsettled, anxious, and depressed. I kept thinking about how great yet how painful the last 2 years had been, how I had seen God move mountains in my heart and life, how the seasons of heartbreak brought me into a deeper place of dependency on Him and brought me closer to Him than ever before... somehow in my anxiety-filled mind I had forgotten Who God is and how much bigger, stronger, how much more magnificent our sovereign Creator is than I could ever imagine or fathom... and how He can do immeasurably more than anything I could ask or pray for or more than anything He has done before in my life.
Let's dream bigger. Let's believe for more. Let's remember and recite to ourselves Who God is and what His characteristics are (sovereign, faithful, consistent, a promise-keeper). Let's look upon the past with thankful hearts but even more so look ahead in gratitude for what God can and will do, what we do not yet see. Let's celebrate the new things He wants to do in us, the life that will burst forth from dry and weary places. Don't settle for the mindset that today is dull and lifeless, but instead embrace the miracle of waking up today and believe for what God is doing right before you in this new season, this new year.
We need not fear the past being our spiritual glory days when God wants to do something fresh in us today. Let's embrace the goodness and faithfulness of our magnificent Father, the Giver of all good things, the Creator of dreams. He wants to do something today, far beyond your yesterdays.
"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Isaiah 43:19