For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. (Jeremiah 17:8)
The trees are coming down, and new resolutions are taking root. Families did everything from shouting “Happy New Year” and watching the ball drop to blowing plastic noisemakers and eating black eyed peas. (Does anyone actually like those things?) No matter what you or your family did to ring in this new year, I’m certain it was done to draw closer to each other and celebrate with gusto the excitement a new year brings. Just what is it about a new year that brings such excitement? Well, I think that depends on your starting point. If you are a believer in Jesus, then He is your starting point! And if He is your starting point, then He will surely show you the way.
‘When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,’ says the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Whatever God has in store for you and those you love, you can rest assured it is for your good and His glory! The future, while unknown to us, is known in precise detail to the One who put the plan in place. That is worth celebrating not just on New Year’s Day but every day throughout the year. Thank God He doesn’t move based off a calendar we follow, because He never stops moving! The problem with most resolutions is that they are rooted in personal desires rather than rooted in pursuing God’s desires. And so, like many things we strive for on our own strength, they eventually fall to the wayside, replaced by reality. The reality is that we can’t do everything we set out to do—when we do it without seeking God first.
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
What does this have to do with parenting? Well, as parents, we are often focused on the sins of our children and can sometime put on the back burner the fact that we ourselves are still sinners in need of our Savior. We strive, we struggle, and we strain forward to better reflect His likeness and character in our homes, but sometimes we fall flat. We need to remember in those times we are flat, we are in a beautiful position to be humbled before our Maker who wants every parent to be parented first. When you find yourself going through a season where the weather seems bleak, be encouraged that your Shepherd is still there, fully aware, and He will guide you if you are willing to be led.
The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:11)
This new year, like each new day, offers a sweet opportunity for a new start—a launching pad to set a straighter course with God at the helm of your heart so He is at the helm in your home. As the calendar relentlessly pushes forward, with numerous things beckoning our attention, we must write in bold ink that we are not going to continue desiring our own agendas, but those God desires for us. No matter where you found yourself on the parenting pathway last year, God alone remains the perfect parent and can put you and your family on a new pathway today! He has prepared the way for you. So as His child, and a parent to His children, go, walk in it, and make it a great new year being rooted in resolutions!
Delighting in Him,
Gabbie Nolen-Fratantoni loves Jesus and is passionate about serving him through the arts by leading worship and writing for various ministries. She is married to Greg, her hard-working, iron-sharpening-iron spouse. They are opposite in personality but equal in dedication to their marriage and family. Gabbie and Greg are the proud and sleep-deprived parents of two active, sweet, and fun boys and recently welcomed the arrival of their first little girl. An Aggie and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Gabbie is a small-town country girl trapped in the city and loves getting to know people and encouraging them as they seek to know Jesus and make him known.
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