I’m willing to bet your newsfeed and social media accounts have been flooded with post after post on the New Year. I know mine have.
I’ve read many of them and felt inspired. I’ve had that excitement stirred up in me that comes with a new year, a new start. But there are some of you who will never read those well-intentioned posts.
There just aren’t enough words written to inspire you to be brave or to encourage your new year success because life has got you all twisted up. You can’t focus on the year ahead because you’re still dealing with the fallout from last year. You have trouble getting excited about goals and pretty planners and resolutions because you can’t fathom putting that much effort into something right now. Though the New Year has only just begun, you’re spent.
Some of you are simply running on fumes.
Friend, I’ve been there. I’ve sat back and pondered how to get excited about a new year, a fresh start, when I was still reeling from things that happened in the previous year.
Maybe 2017 was a year of transition for you and you aren’t settled yet. Maybe your marriage went through the ringer and you’ve still trying to put the pieces back together again. Maybe you are burned out from wearing so many hats in your life. There are so many things we deal with that can cause us to dread going into a new year.
So how do go into a new year with new hopes and dreams for what God will do in your life? How do you stop running on fumes and get excited for the year ahead?
You expect Him to move.
It’s easy and it’s complicated all at the same time. When you expect God to move in your life, no matter the past, no matter the current circumstance, you are inviting your faith to grow in new and deeper ways.
There is a woman we can learn from about this. A woman who was in such a desperate, desolate place that she had no choice but to believe that Jesus would heal her because everything else had failed.
“Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed. Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.”
Matthew 9:20-22 (NLT)
Can you imagine? Her only thought was, I’ve got to get to Jesus because if I can just touch Him, He will heal me. And heal her He did. This woman who had bleed now for twelve years with no relief or reprieve, went with the expectation that Jesus would heal her. He would make her well.
She risked everything in that moment when she reached her hand out to touch the edge of his robe. She left her home, the place that she had really been imprisoned because she was considered “unclean” and searched Jesus out. She risked the judgmental looks from onlookers. The snarky comments and stares from those who said she was “dirty” and not worthy enough to be out in the town.
But she sought Jesus out. She was on a mission of expectation.
We can take a lesson from her. We need to move into the New Year ahead with expectation of what God will do in our lives. We need to seek Him out very purposefully and offer up all we have to Him.
If the past year was one you would like to forget, expect Him to still work.
If you have no idea where you are going and what you’re here to do for Him, expect He will show you and open doors for you.
If you found yourself in complete transition or constant change this past year, expect He will show you why and where you need to settle.
Expect God to move because He’s moving in our lives all the time. We need to open our hearts and give ourselves fully to Him, just as the bleeding woman did. Her story ends with healing. Jesus says to her “Daughter, be encouraged!” God doesn’t leave us high and dry. Never.
Go into this next year with expectation of what God will do. Open yourself up to healing. To restoration. To forgiveness. To adventure. To growth. God will move. He always does friends.