Starting Over

Ahhhhhh…the beginning of a new year. And with it, the chance to start afresh. The opportunity to begin doing the things you should, or stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t. That’s the idea behind New Year’s resolutions—to formalize your commitment to “get it right”.

The only problem is…well, let’s be honest. Most of us are going to fail at our New Year’s resolutions, at least in part. We’ll start out with good intentions, utmost sincerity, and maybe even some prayer. But all too soon, we’ll mess up.

Some of us give up right there. I knew I couldn’t do it. Or, This just isn’t going to work.

Others of us try again. We muster up some hope from somewhere and give it another shot. And then…another failure. Forget it, we sigh, and we resign ourselves to living the same way we used to before we made the resolution.

Take, for example, having a daily time spent with the Lord. We all know we’re supposed to do it, so we resolve that this year is the year we’re going to finally conquer our lack of consistency.

You know what happens next. Maybe you make it a week, or maybe, if you’re really diligent, you get all the way into February before you forget, or you get busy with other things and your quiet time gets pushed aside.

Or maybe you decide that you’re not going to yell at your kids any more. You’re going to be patient. For real, this time. No matter what.

And then one day, you’re fighting a cold, and the baby kept you up all night last night, and you walk into the living room to find fifteen different colors of Play-Doh mashed into the carpet in a thousand places, and…you yell.

Have you been there, at the place where suddenly you’ve bombed out, when you really wanted to succeed? I know I have. I’ve found that my sincerity wasn’t enough to carry me through the testing of my intentions. Whether due to a mistake or because of my sin, I often cause my own failure. Sometimes, I get discouraged at the idea of having to start over yet again on something I’ve attempted many times before.

God gives us a lot more grace than we sometimes give ourselves. He understands that we’re human, and we will sometimes make mistakes. He doesn’t condemn us for not possessing abilities or skills He never gave to us. Other times, we’ll sin, but He doesn’t condemn us then, either. You see, Jesus’ blood paid for these start-overs. And Jesus bought as many as we’ll need.

Think about that, precious mom. The freedom, when it comes to non-moral mistakes, to be imperfect. To not know it all, and not be able to do it all. And when it comes to sin, if we have a repentant heart, we also have an unlimited supply of fresh starts, with no expiration date.

What an incredible gift. We can start over any time we need to, whether or not it’s January 1.

So happy new year, mom. Happy new day. Happy new moment.

Revelation 21:5—And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

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