4 R’s In This New Year
The ball was recently dropped in Time Square at midnight on 12/31/16, signaling the advancement from 2016 to 2017. Now we get the opportunity to unwind from all the activity of the last several weeks. Many of us have been “human doings” instead of “human beings.” We’ve been planning and preparing for Christmas, quickly followed by the calendar change to a New Year.
With the new year brings the opportunity to start fresh with new resolve. In addition to changing bad habits and starting or restarting good habits, this is a great time to Rest, Review, Restore and Renew. (The 4 “R’s” actually rhyme)!
Rest In His Presence
Rest: Defined as a period of inactivity and relief, especially from anything that tires or troubles you. Sometimes the best thing we can do is nothing at all. Being still isn’t as easy as one might think. Psalm 46:10 reads: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Many of us have constant “to do” lists going through our minds and find relaxing to be very difficult. Keep in mind that resting doesn’t involve electronics. (I hope my husband reads this). The exception would be relaxing music playing in the background.
Think about the fact that after God created the world, even He rested on the seventh day. In the tablets that God gave to Moses, we were commanded to rest on the 7th day. Yet many of us resume our “to do” list right after church. In today’s fast paced world, being still and truly resting is elusive. Even if we rest our bodies, temporarily turning off our brain is a challenge.
Matthew 11:28 reads
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Trusting in the Lord for whatever keeps our minds spinning, will allow us to rest in His presence and promises, allowing for a time of peace to our souls.
Review The Year
Review: Defined as the process of looking at, considering or carefully examining something to form a judgement. Remember Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus? When Joseph found that Mary was with child, he resolved to marry her but divorce her quietly as not to cause her shame. But in Matthew 1:20 it reads “As he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Had Joseph not stopped to review and consider the situation, he would not have been open to hearing the angel of the Lord in his dream.
Rather than jump to conclusions or make quick decisions, we too will have greater insight if we take a time-out. I personally need to practice stepping back and considering a situation from different perspectives and asking the Lord for guidance, before making a judgement. 1 Samuel 12:24 reads
“Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”
The start of a new year is a great time to review the year that just passed (without dwelling on it) and review your options, direction, and preferences for your life in the new year.
Restore Your Soul
Restore: Defined as to refresh, revitalize and recharge. Can be used as to restore energy or enthusiasm, or to restore as in bring back something that was missing, has been neglected or suffered wear and tear. We often feel depleted after this season of Christmas busyness and need physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual restoration.
There are many accounts of restoration in the Bible. Lands are restored (Ezekiel 20:33). Health is restored (Isaiah 38:16). Fortunes are restored several times just within the book of Jeremiah. Even life is restored. The account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is the most well-known (John 11:43-44).
Some diminishing, destruction, or suffering is the prerequisite for restoring something or someone to its/their original condition or purpose. In 1 Peter 10, the elders are told by Peter
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Renew: As a verb, renew is defined as to replenish, re-create, resume, or begin again. Something that has been lost, faded, has disappeared, an injury or damage needs to be made new again. Even rebooting your computer is an example of renewing the system so that it can work better. Have you ever heard someone say that they need a “brain break?” That break in thinking allows for resting and renewing of your mind.
In 2010, I was hospitalized for nearly a month with a rare autoimmune liver disease whereby my bile ducts were closing up. But the Lord heard the prayers of many and guided the doctor’s hands to scar open the bile ducts, eliminating the need for a liver transplant. Praise God! When I was home recovering with drains coming out of me, IV’s going into me, and being extremely weak, the Lord impressed the following scripture upon my heart.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
God proved again how much He loves and cares for me by giving me the assurance I needed from that particular scripture to renew my hope that that time of waiting, weakness and discomfort was temporary.
There’s a time for every purpose under heaven
An American Rock band called The Byrds released a song in 1965 called Turn, Turn, Turn. Besides creating the title, only 6 of the words within the song were actually written by singer/songwriter Pete Seeger in the late 1950’s. Seeger took the lyrics almost word-for-word from the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
The 6 words Pete Seeger added were at the very end. It was a plea for world peace during the Vietnam war, “I swear it’s not too late.”
There is a time for every purpose under heaven, including a time to Rest, Review, Restore and Renew. If during this time the Lord puts it on your heart to contribute the mission of All Things Possible Ministries, with time, talent or tithe, we would love for you to join the team.
We are currently looking to expand our Board of Directors, Advisory Team and Golf Tournament Committee. If any of those areas appeal to you, please contact me, Lisa Sexton, Executive Director, at Lisa@AllThingsPossile.org for additional information.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!