We all know what the main topic of conversation is this time of year. How many times have you heard it? The calendar flips over to a new year and that seems to mean there needs to be a start to the “new you.” Everyone has been thinking, planning, and waiting until January to be better, start fresh, and try harder.
Typically, you have people finding they need to cut things out — bad habits, television, junk food, and social media. Some people want to add things in — more reading, more working out, more family time, more gratitude. People want to look better, feel better, and be more successful.
Social media posts and friends and family are all asking the same questions: What are your resolutions for this year? What are you going to change? What are you going to make better? What are you going to stop doing? What are you going to work harder on?
So, I have found myself thinking — or maybe overthinking — about my own plans, goals, and resolutions for the new year. Should I be adding in good things? Should I be cutting out bad things? I need more of the good and could always use less of the bad. I see plenty of room for improvement and my track record for resolutions is less than consistent. The list for a new me just gets longer and longer. I see the self-induced stress and disappointment adding up already. Who can keep all of this up? It’s overwhelming! No wonder people aren’t talking about how resolutions are going a month or two into the year.
Do you ever just want to avoid this topic of conversation? All this added pressure just because the calendar shows January. When you hear questions about new year’s resolutions for the hundredth time, do you feel like answering, “I don’t have any!”? Nothing, none, zilch, zero. No resolution, no new big thing, no new me.
No more pressure is needed right now.
Resolutions and goals have their rightful place, but right now, you might just need to get through this season, to get through the week, to hang on another day. You are working hard.
If that is the season you are in, you are not alone. If you feel like this whole resolution thing is just a big fail for you, you are not alone. Not everyone feels the big, lofty goals. Not everyone is into the splashy “in” resolutions of the year. Do not feel guilty for not jumping on board with all the excitement this time around. And if this is where you’re at today, I have the best news for you: Don’t worry. Have hope. You and I can take this day by day!
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV)
This is what the Lord does for us — new mercies every morning!
Each and every day, we can have the abundant mercy, love, and faithfulness of God. His mercies will never end. They will not run out. They do not expire. And thankfully, they are not based on how good we are doing. After each misstep, flub, mistake, and failure, there He is with mercy and love, and grace. We don’t have to quit; we can try again tomorrow. And again, the next day. And again, the day after that if we need.
We can count on His mercy to get us through the day’s troubles. And if we barely make it through a day, if it leaves us discouraged and broken, we have hope that He will meet us tomorrow with an outpouring of love, compassion, and faithfulness.
God just keeps showing up. He forgives us over and over, loving us no matter our behavior, with never-ending mercies.
God is our portion. He is our fresh start. He is the hope we cling to.
by Jennifer Ueckert, originally published at (in)courage. Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.