Last night as the remaining Christmas lights twinkled, the laughter rung through the house and the excitement of a new year was palpable.
Today all of that has faded as quickly as the sparklers that were waved around at midnight.
The sky is cloudy. The rain is falling. And there is gloominess not just outside the homes but in many hearts as well. No, nothing has changed simply because a new year has dawned.
For most, we know that true change, lasting change, comes not from a new year (however fun it may be to celebrate) but rather from the Holy Spirit working a newness within us.
So perhaps, just a few hours into 2022, it is already time to consider “faithfulness” over “newness.” For somehow, in the grace and mercy of God, it is often faithfulness that leads to newness. It is the faithful reading of His Word, the faithful steps of obedience, and faithfully being yielded to His Spirit that lead to newness of mind, newness of heart, and new steps forward into the plans and purposes He has for us.
“Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made… The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.” (Genesis 2:8, 15)
God planted. And He placed. For a purpose.
As much as our hearts may yearn for “new” or “different” or “change,” we must ask, “Where has He placed me? Who is around me? Am I faithfully fulfilling HIS purpose?” It is in fulfilling THIS that we will truly feel filled: regardless of the season, the stage, how much progress there is yet to make or how ordinary, mundane, and repetitive it seems. It is here, knowing we are doing what He has for us to do at this time and in this place, that we find continual joy and contentment, even when nothing has changed.
So friends, if the lights are not twinkling today, if the sky – or your heart – is gloomy, and if the anticipation of newness has already faded – be encouraged. Set your heart upon the One who is faithful to you and to whom you are called to be faithful in return. As you do, you will experience newness and change within, little by little, step by step.