How time flies! In a few days’ time 2016 will come to an end and a new year begins. I feel as if I have just started 2016 not too long ago, and now it’s almost over.
I guess at this time of the year many people will be reviewing the resolutions they made earlier in the year, that is, if they made any at all. As for me, I have given up making new year resolutions because by the end of the first quarter of the year I would have forgotten them and I’ll be back to living life as it unfolds each day.
I am very much a free spirit and I go with the flow but that doesn’t mean that I live a wasted life. It’s just that from young I live without a time-table to determine how I spend each of my day. The only time-table I had to follow was the school’s time-table. Beyond that, I managed on my own. So I was a free spirited child but I assure you, I was a conforming child. I did my homework and didn’t give my parents any problems with my teachers. (Of course I was conforming out of the fear of punishment.)
Although I have stopped making resolutions for each new year it doesn’t mean that I don’t review my life and my journey with God on a regular basis. In fact, at the end of each year or the beginning of a new year, I make a retreat to review the year past with the Lord and lift up the up and on-coming plans and events to Him. It has become my annual date with my Beloved.
This practice enables me to take stock of how God, by His grace, has brought me through the year so that I can express my thanks and gratitude to Him; what lessons He has taught me in this part of my life journey; how He has grown me as a person and how all these have impacted my relationship with the Almighty. The focus has shifted from what I have done or achieved during the year to who I have become and the importance of my relationship with God.
From time to time my reflection goes way back to my early days as a child and my journey through the years. I am so amazed at how God has been watching over me, protecting me, guiding me and even sustaining me way before I came to know Christ as Saviour and Lord. Looking back allows me to see how God fitted the little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of my life together. Not all pieces were happy pieces. In fact, there were many broken pieces but each piece served God’s purpose, even when I didn’t know God in my early years. God knows why He did what He did in my life. God never makes mistakes. Nothing we experience in life is by coincident. Everything is according to His divine will and purpose. Jeremiah 29 : 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
As we look to the future, walking in faith and trusting in God’s faithfulness, we must also remember to look back to see what God has done in our lives and express our gratitude to Him and be obedient to His leading.
From the book of Joshua we learned about the various piles of stones that were built to commemorate significant events at that time. More importantly they serve to help the Israelites remember what God has done for them and they are to tell to their children what God has done for His people. Remember and be grateful!
Likewise, we should have our own ‘piles of stones’ for significant events in our lives so that when we look at them we can be grateful to God for what He has done for us. Remembering His grace and mercy at significant times enables us to move forward in faith, knowing that God is faithful and that He will not leave us in the lurch, no matter what happens. So from the book of Joshua, we can learn to apply the same pattern in our lives – moving forward in faith but not forgetting to look back and remember that God is a promise-keeping God and He is trustworthy.
Are you planning to make your new year resolutions, or have you finished the exercise already? Would you consider doing it differently this time? Seek God’s help to reflect and identify the ‘pile(s) of rocks’ in your life this year and give Him thanks for each and every pile that you identify. Take time to remember how God has been faithful to you, and go forward in faith into the new year and let God lead you in the way that He wants you to go. You will find your faith journey even more exciting, knowing that your Lord God is faithful and He will not leave you nor forsake you, ever!
May you have a fruitful and adventurous journey with the Lord in 2017.