Deep breath in, deep breath out. There’s something exciting and refreshing about a new year. The air seems a little crisper and the sun seems to shine a little brighter. If you go to a restaurant, you’re more likely to find a plethora of salads being served as people embark on “new year” diets. The gyms are packed and people are out making things happen, one inch at a time, toward their goals. January 1st is a day for which many wait expectantly when the prior year seemed endlessly daunting. It’s a new page in a story that continues to unfold.
He’s the Same.
As exciting as it is to embark on the adventure of a new year, the hype tends to die down days or weeks later. Real life sets in. Goal progress slows down. We miss a day in our Bible reading plan and one day of an unopened Bible leads to two days, then three days, and without realizing it we’ve spent longer time away from the Word than we did in the Word. It’s a cycle we all hate to repeat, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, I know we can defeat it.
The truth about the new year we must keep at the forefront of our minds as we set goals and resolutions is this: God hasn’t changed. Each year holds different challenges and struggles, loss and new life, lessons learned and wisdom understood. Life feels like a roller coaster at times, and other times a chugging train.
We are constantly changing, but God isn’t. He doesn’t shift when the world does. He doesn’t sleep when we lay our heads on our pillows. He doesn’t change His mind or redefine precepts and truth founded at the beginning of time. In each new year, God stays the same, and that comfort keeps us moving forward as we keep inching toward the finish line with our eyes on Jesus.
Changing Plans, Unchanging God.
At the start of last year, I had big plans for the year — from starting a podcast for Well-Watered Women, to small changes in my daily routine. Looking back, I can honestly say that none of those things happened. I know, not exactly the brightest perspective! The podcast moved forward about a centimeter, and we have undergone so many changes in our family that daily routines have changed almost … daily. Frustration set in many times this year. I believed if I could only get to the next season, then I would flourish.
Through it all, God was changing me. He was changing my heart, dreams, and goals. He was deepening my understanding of Him and broadening my love for His Word and ways. Every twist and turn served a purpose, and looking back I can see that though my plans changed, He was unchanging. That’s the hope I cling to this year as well.
You’re probably seeing the message of “new year, new you” everywhere, wondering deep down if this year will actually consist of change. My encouragement to you is this: swap that message for “new year, same God.” The more we lean into Him and cling to His Word, the more we will be transformed into His image. We are ever-changing; He is unchanging. That’s what grounds us, propels us forward, and roots us in every season.
New year, same God, ever-changing you. Let this year be about Him, friends, as your faithful God molds you in the palms of His hands.
Staring with surrender,