Do you ever feel like walking in the Spirit should be routine by now? Or at least easier than it was at first?
After 17 years of walking with the Lord, I keep thinking that it is going to get easier. But it doesn’t. My flesh still wants to rear its ugly head at every opportunity. Sin still creeps in. Frustration with others is still my biggest downfall. When I am tired and grumpy the guard over my mouth always seems to remain unlatched and swinging on squeaky hinges.
Can I be honest? I was really excited for 2010 to end. Really, really excited. As one of the most challenging years in my life thus far, I was waiting with great anticipation for December 31st to come and go, and for 2011 to dawn new, bright and full of possibilities. I fell into the trap of thinking that a new year would bring an end to the bad/hard/sad and a host of good.
And then I woke up on the 1st. To the reminder that I had left my brand-new CamelBak water bottle in a meeting room a couple days before and within an hour it had been taken or thrown away. To $200 of incorrect charges on my hotel bill from the conference last week that had to be taken off. To a car that wouldn’t start because the parking attendants had let my car alarm go on for days until the battery finally died. To a stereo that is now on lock-down as an anti-theft measure when the alarm had been going off for so long.
As I look back over that list, I realize that those are mostly small things. But they smacked me right in the face and reminded me that January 1st only brings the start of a new calendar year. That’s it. We don’t get to hit the “re-start” button. Life doesn’t start over. Pain, hurt, loneliness, sickness, brokenness, financial woes, relationship issues, spiritual lethargy, frustrations, happiness, new babies, great relationships, good friends, joys…whatever was a part of your life on Dec 31st is still going to be there on Jan. 1st. So true in my own life.
Frustration set in. I was already exhausted from the conference, and began to despair. What is the point? Is this life, really?
He is good, no matter what the circumstances of [my, your] life may be.
He stays the same, no matter what changes come.
He is enough.
He is worthy of praise, even when my life is filled with frustration and petty things that need taken care of.
He is rest, when I am weary.
He is Faithful and True.
I’m so thankful that I didn’t wallow in my pity party and frustration. I came straight home and spent some good quality time in His presence, and was reminded of why I keep going, even when life is really, really hard. I read this prayer from the book “Valley of Vision”, which is one of my favorites (this is part of it):
O God of the Highest Heaven,
occupy the throne of my heart | take full possession and reign supreme | lay low every rebel lust | let no vile passion resist Thy holy war | manifest Thy mighty power, and make me Thine forever
Thou art worthy to be praised with my every breath | loved with my every faculty of soul | served with my every act of life.
Thy presence is to me a treasure of unending peace
– From “Regeneration”
No matter what 2011 brings, may His presence be to me a constant treasure of unending peace. Amen.
grace and peace,
ps. Happy New Year! I pray that you are doing well and have a blessed year with the Lord, whatever it brings.