Oh my. A new year is here.
Typically, I love New Years. Despite the “Christmas is over” let down, there is something about January that feels like a fresh start. A new beginning. I usually take the opportunity to challenge myself, make goals… and I have a sense of excitement and anticipation over what is to come.
But this January I’ve struggled. I haven’t felt the same energy, the same excitement. I just can’t seem to find my get-up-and-GO!
I don’t think I’ve lost it all together, I just can’t seem to find it with the same vivacity I’m used to. I’ve hunted to find the main cause… is it stress? homeschooling? hormones? my lack of consistent devotion time? the after affects of a miscarriage? Is it the Family Readiness Group that zaps the life out of me? Or the major career change that is fast approaching our family? Is it my struggle to serve Him and Him alone? Or the discouraging words and behavior of others? Service in the church? Or maybe my three little boys and their constant need for me and my discipline?
Though I’ve hunted and prayed more than I can express, I haven’t come up with a successful answer… except that its not any one thing.
It’s everything, all at once.
Thankfully, while I am weak, He is strong. And though I lack considerable strength, the Lord has not let me give in to the overwhelmingness of life. He has not let me sink into the hopelessness and selfishness that could so easily drown me.
It is the Lord in me who doesn’t give up.
And though I have not experienced my normal get up and go, I haven’t lost it. And that is the Lord’s doing. He has provided the needed strength. He is the strength. He has challenged me to trust in Him and not in my own vivacity.
God has also not let me hide from responsibilities and challenges. But he has provided me with a way of escape during the incredible temptation to give in and give up. And the way of escape? His presence and mercy. His love and grace showered upon me. His life and strength in one who has no life and strength on her own.
Isn’t it so common, so human of us, to look to ourselves for the needed strength?
I know I found myself looking inside, hoping to revive the piece that was missing. And then, not being able to find it in myself, being hugely tempted to stop caring about the jobs I’ve been given. Isn’t it like us to avoid dealing with stressful issues? To let words go unspoken or sin unchallenged because it seems easier at the time? Because not dealing with it, seems the way of escape? When truly the only way “out” is through God’s grace. Truly it is only by looking to Him and Him alone that we persevere and continue on towards the Celestial City.
This life truly is a pilgrimage, with different challenges and temptations along the road. I find myself empathizing more than ever with Pilgrim in John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. The Slough of Despond, the Destroyer Apollyon, the friends who fail. Truly the only hope for this Christian is God’s mercy and grace.
Lord, give me the strength to continue this journey, give me wisdom in all my dealings, give me hope when I feel hopeless.
And thank you for the lack of energy that reminds me of my dependence on you.