Wow, I can't believe its 2012! It seems like just yesterday I was clinking champagne cups full of apple cider with friends and family,
declaring, "Happy 2011!" and toasting the New Year. The ball dropped in New York City, the stars twinkled overhead outside. The stars are still twinkling, but now it is 2012.
I wonder what this year will be like; what difficult circumstances will I be faced with? What beautiful moments will I experience?
Last year my goal was to earn my driver's licence (my learner's permit is on the verge of expiring), but my hopes were in vain. I have yet to drive myself anywhere without getting "white-knuckle syndrome" on the steering wheel or basically having a mini meltdown in the driver's seat, my distraught mom sweating bullets in the passenger's seat beside me (I am sure sitting in an electric chair would be more comfortable for her at moments like these). Yep, people make resolutions, but resolutions don't come with "money back guarantees" (unless they are treadmills), and they certainly don't promise certain success.
But for the past few years now, I have set different types of goals for myself on New Year's Eve, something like a New Year's resolution, but deeper. I write a small list of "hopes" on the top of my January calendar page, things I hope God will show me, ways I hope to grow spiritually. It is like a written prayer--and, so far, God has answered me every year without fail. Last year I prayed that I could draw closer to God, and that I could get along better with my younger siblings. Not only did God reveal more of Himself and His mysterious grace to me last year, He allowed me the opportunity to grow closer to my brothers.
It is not as if God takes New Year's Eve prayers more seriously than others...I think that it is just me who makes them special. Really, I think God wants all of our prayers to feel special, because they are. That we can converse with the Awesome Creator of the Universe seems like a total miracle to my limited, finite, human brain! Another flabbergasting notion: God wants us to come to Him with our hearts desires. In Jeremiah 11:9-12 Jesus says,
"...Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
This is not to say that God will answer every question immediately or even in the affirmative. Jesus gives us an example of a child asking his father for something that is clearly good for him to have. If the child had asked for a snake, it would have been irresponsible of the father to grant him his desire! if God's answer to our prayers is "No" or "Wait" we just have to trust Him and know that He knows what He's doing. His ways are far above our ways!
So what is it this year that is weighing on your heart? Are you struggling with an addiction? A family problem? Maybe your heart's desire is marriage, but that special someone does not seem to be coming along as quickly as you would like. My suggestion? Pray, and wait on the Lord. This answer may seem trite, but it is so true. My heart's prayer for this year is found in Lamentations 3:22-24:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is [God's] faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
Sometimes God is slow to answer because He wants us to trust Him regardless of our life circumstances. When a person loves another person, they learn to trust that individual. God wants to have a love relationship with each and every one of us. In order for that to happen, it is essential that we learn to trust God in every aspect of our lives.
If God wants you to have the desires of your heart (and if your heart is aligned with His, He most likely will), He will take care of it for you. in Jeremiah 29:11 God assures His people, "...I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
My 2012 New Year's resolution? To pray more, and trust God with all of my hopes and my future. If I slip up and fall on my butt (which will most likely happen a few times), I am not going to say, "Oh well, better luck next year;" instead I am going to get right back onto my feet and declare a New Day's resolution! I am tired of trying to hash life out on my own. I am fed up with living for transient worldly pleasures. This year, I am going to strive to serve God with my whole heart, and in the process, change the world around me.
And who knows? Maybe I'll finally master that gymnast's split this year after all!