For the New Year

Someone asked me yesterday if I made a New Year’s Resolution. I’m not into “resolutions” but I do have one burning desire for 2010: for God to help me turn my focus completely to Him.

The past decade I’ve had major losses. Seems I barely find my footing and there’s another huge loss. Don’t get me wrong. By God’s grace, He blessed me with a thankful heart. Through it all, I’ve been overwhelmed by thoughts of gratitude and praise; my heart has overflowed with thanksgiving for His blessings and love, and simply for His presence with me. He has lifted me out of some dark places and nestled me against His heart. What more could I want! I love Him so much.

But I’m human. With every new loss, I feel pain, I feel hurt, I feel weak, I feel overwhelmed, sometimes even lost. I think about desires (for family, for children) that I’ve had to lay at the Cross. I think about all the things in me that have died. And sometimes I ask Him, “When is it gonna stop? When can I just rest?” I think about how I don’t have any strength left – even though I know, through it all, He has given me His strength, the very strength that created the universe; that is amazing, and an undeserved gift of love. Like the Psalmist, I’ve gone between tears of heartbreak and tears of gratitude and thanksgiving, between outbursts of pain and outbursts of joy, often within the same moment, as I lay at His feet.

As we move into a new decade, I’m going through one of the biggest losses, the one that had me saying, “God, I can’t take anymore.” Yet, I’m ready for new life. I’m ready to stop looking back, stop looking around at what’s been lost to me, and start looking to God. I’d like my focus to be off myself and onto Him. I can’t do this without His help, and so my one desire for this new decade (and this new day) is simply: “Lord, help me focus completely on You.”

I find that when I focus on Him, I see myself and my situation differently. When I focus on God, I begin to understand, truly with my heart, that HE MADE ME. He didn’t just make me by accident. He had something (or rather, someone) very specific in mind when He made me. I must admit, that’s got me curious. Who did You make me to be? What did You have in mind when You made me? What did You intend? I’d really like to know. If He made me, intentionally, for His pleasure, then I’d like to be who He made me to be! And I’d like my life to be what He wants it to be. What could be more pleasing to the One I love?

What a great perspective, to focus on Him and not me. When I focus on me, I see pain. When I focus on Him, I see hope. The hope of just being who He made me to be. Just living as He desires me to live – whatever that looks like. Just trusting in Him. (He’s God, after all!) I find that perspective gives me strength. It’s exciting too. To think I might start living a life that is pleasing to the Creator, pleasing for one reason alone: that it’s the life He created me to live, for His pleasure and His happiness. If I truly love Him (and I do!) that’s all that matters.

That’s what I want for this year – and forever. I want to be who He made me to be, and I want to live as He made me to live. He created me to please Him. He created me to love Him. So that’s what I want for Him, and for me. It’s that simple.

As for all the losses, I heard a song last night. The words gave courage to my heart: “It’s gonna be worth it.” He is already worth it. And we have no comprehension – NO COMPREHENSION – of the joys He has in store for us, if we just press on. That’s another topic, but it’s the same theme. His perspective. Focus on Him. Which reminds me of another song from last night: “Come up higher. Leave this world behind. You’ll find Me to be beautiful.”

Lord, in this new year, let me begin to see Your beauty, help me to worship You with my life, and let me not take my eyes off of You. Amen.