Five – Four – Three – Two – One! Happy New Year!! As we count down on New Year’s Eve, many of us have good intentions for the coming year. We are told, after all, that we should. It’s a new beginning. It’s the perfect opportunity to start that fitness program, work toward the promotion, volunteer more, or finally learn how to stop killing houseplants. It’s a chance to “get right” all of the things we “got wrong” last year…but what if we don’t? What happens when we grow weary of waiting for machines at the gym because everyone else had the same idea? When someone else gets the promotion? When we volunteer all we can but are still overwhelmed by the need around us? How then, will I possibly feel like I’m enough?
I’m sure you, like me, have read countless statistics about how long new year’s resolutions tend to last…not long. That’s because we can rarely accomplish goals solely on willpower. The good news is that we don’t have to. The Lord tells us “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV).
Awesome. Weakness I can do. But what is God giving me strength for? Well, when I read the text leading up to verse 9, I can see that the apostle Paul (the author) is asking the Lord to remove the “thorn in his flesh” (although we don’t know for sure what that was, none of the possibilities considered by scholars sounds like fun). And this is the Lord’s answer. In other words, He says “No.” “No, I won’t remove it, but you don’t have to be strong enough to deal with it because I am.” Wow.
What does that mean for this girl living in 2023? I think it means that His goals for my year (or my day, or this hour) may or may not be the same as mine. There isn’t anything wrong with working toward goals for fitness, work, helping others, or even keeping houseplants alive…I’m just saying that maybe whether we realize those goals or not isn’t all that important. Maybe as I begin a new year, it’s more important for me to remember that Jesus is enough. I don’t have to be.