“Can you please help me, Mom?”
My six-year-old son asked me this when he was working on a new LEGO building bricks set and got stuck on a step in the directions.
He had already found the pieces and had a general idea of how the pieces were supposed to go together, but he needed a little extra help to make it all come together. As I sat next to him, he showed me what he had worked on so far and what was hard about the step he was trying to complete. Together, we took the pieces and built one more part toward the finished product.
January Begins with Resolutions
The end of one year and the start of the next often brings about similar moments in homes everywhere. We look at the pieces of life we have, we often feel stuck on a step, and we try to figure out what will help us complete the build toward the final product we’re dreaming about.
December ends with lots of reflections, and January begins with lots of resolutions. And in the midst of all that, there is our God, who is not bound by time and not constrained by yearly to-dos or bucket lists. He is all present. He is all powerful. He is all knowing.
How can we approach the closing of one year and the commencing of another in a way that reflects what we know to be true about God? Perhaps we would gain more by seeing the start of a new year as an opportunity to keep building instead of just merely starting over.
God Does the Work
Through Baptism, we are given the gift of faith. This gift grows year in and year out. We start over once. We are born sinful and unclean. Then we are born again as the water combined with God’s Word washes over us. As baptized believers, we can look at the start of a new year as an opportunity to continue building on the faith we already have and the work already being completed through us.
We don’t need resolutions as much as we need repentance. We need forgiveness and a Savior, and God provides both. We celebrated the arrival of the Savior at Christmas, and not too far from now, we will follow His journey to the cross. Through His life, death, and resurrection, He built a new life for us.
This January, Keep Building
As we begin a new year, let me encourage you to keep building too. Maybe you have a regular rhythm for reading your Bible and praying already established. That’s amazing! Praise God! Or maybe you never read your Bible or pray regularly and want to add spending more time reading your Bible to your list for the new year. Or perhaps even more likely, you are somewhere between a rock-solid rhythm and a nonexistent routine.
Wherever you fall on this spectrum, God is consistent. He has not left you. He has not forsaken you. He is listening and ready to sit with you as you tell Him where you feel stuck, show Him the pieces you have, and work together on building the next part.
This month, download the Everyday Faith Calendar to continue to build spiritual disciplines in the new year. Each day, there is a short Bible reading that will guide you through the Book of Philippians and a prayer prompt.