We made it through Christmas. Our expectant waiting is over. The Savior is born. The New Year has begun, our resolutions made, thoughtfully planned, diligently executed. Hopefully, only a few foolish promises have been broken before the first month has barely begun.
The clock started and the question never seems to be whether we’ll keep our resolution but for how long.
Do resolutions set us up for failure?
I haven’t been able to find a biblical context for making them and the only resolution I’ve kept is the resolution to stop making resolutions! I honestly can’t recall the last time I made a resolution.
I can’t save myself. My self-esteem doesn’t need any more blows! So why set myself up for failure? Isn’t that why I need a savior?
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)
This sinful fallen world provides enough disappointment and tears without setting such low expectations.
So many sisters and brothers suffer from depression during the holidays, some from the loss of loved ones, illness or hardship. Others wrestle with mental illness or swarms of mind altering relatives or good intentioned “church” people, binding up the New Year, swinging it about our heads and bringing it crashing down with a loud THUD! The only ringing may be in our ears from the blow.
I’m OKAY! I had a great New Year! No one spoiled my celebration or spit in my champagne.
But not everyone parties in the New Year. While I didn’t cry in this New Year, I have others.
Several of my friends have lost loved ones. And quite frankly this hasn’t been the most joyous year for our family. Our daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease this year; and I’m writing this post as she sleeps in the chair next to me receiving her 2nd Remicade infusion. I pray it works. I pray it is the miracle we’ve hoped for.
Following our savior to the cross (Easter) can be very painful, difficult, exhausting and hard work. So if you’re feeling a bit over or under whelmed, you are not alone.
Let’s take a moment to meet our holy family (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) in Matthew 2. After the magi visit them, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to keep him alive. I guess it’s the way God talks to guys named Joe.
Joseph obeys and the family goes to Egypt to stay, fulfilling what the Lord said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”(Hosea 11:1)
While we rejoice that our savior, Jesus is saved, let us recall that not all rejoiced. Herod killed all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he learned the savior was born in Bethlehem. This fulfilled what was said through the prophet Jeremiah (31:15):
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
Scripture doesn’t say, Rachel rejoiced because her child was sacrificed, was thankful for the time she had with her child or was comforted by her other children. She grieved and was upset. She refused to be consoled and God recorded her tears in scripture with the promise of the empty tomb. Why? Because God never breaks resolutions! Amen!
Lord, thank you for hearing your daughters’ tears. When we weep, you comfort. Even when we refuse, you remain, keeping count of our tears. Thank you for sending your son, as a sacrifice for our tears. Amen.