New Year, New Mercies.
Written by Stephanie Plumb on January 3, 2019
Your mercies are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.
Happy New Year! I’ll be honest. I think New Year’s Eve is one of the most overrated holidays. When I was younger I loved staying up until midnight, getting dressed up, spending the evening with friends and watching fireworks. Somewhere after college and before getting married, I decided the best view at midnight on New Year’s Eve is the back of my eyelids. I can’t tell you the last time I saw 11:59PM switch over to 12:00 on January first. And I like it that way. Because if the saying is true that “what you’re doing at midnight on New Year’s is what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year,” as the mom of a VERY active toddler, I wouldn’t mind a year of sleep. Just saying.
BUT. But. While I’m not a fan of New Year’s Eve, I love New Year’s Day. I love January first. I love a new beginning. I’m a hardcore New Year’s resolution maker. Every year, I reflect on the past 365 days and evaluate what I can do to make my life better, fuller, more complete, more meaningful, and less hectic, less stressful, less ineffective in the next year.
That sounds super sanctimonious. I promise it doesn’t feel like that when I’m actually doing it.
Would it help if I told you that one of my resolutions for the last SEVEN YEARS has been to train for and run in my first 5K race? I’m good at making New Year’s resolutions, but not so much at seeing them through.
I think, for me, the appeal to New Year’s Day and New Year’s resolutions is in the idea of a clean slate, a chance to start over. The mistakes and missed opportunities of last year are behind us, and we can move into the new year unburdened by our past failings.
To me, January first is also a reminder of the clean slate we are given in Christ. When we surrender to Him, we are washed clean in His blood. Our past sins, our failures, our mistakes, our wrongdoings, they no longer count against us, from that first moment in trusting Him as our savior and every morning after that. No matter what yesterday looked like, God still offers us His grace and mercy today.
I don’t always appreciate the feeling of freedom that comes with total forgiveness, but the New Year makes it impossible for me to gloss over it. When I’m face to face with God’s constant offering of grace, I can’t help but want to make the most of the ultimate fresh start I have been given. My prayer for 2019 is I don’t waste a single opportunity to bring glory to God with my life.
What will you do with your clean slate this year?