Someone told me today that they try not to think in terms of years, but rather, days.
I was thinking something along those lines this week as I prepared for the celebration of a new year's dawn.
That word alone struck me. Dawn. Sunrise.
My friend said that he wakes up, puts his yesterday behind him as he gets on his knees. It could have been the worst, most sinful day ... but he refuses to bear that shame for a full year when the Lord's mercies are new every morning.
So he starts each day with a prayer for forgiveness & a fresh start. (Note: I am in no ways endorsing a lifestyle that does not strive for holiness & then just says, "oh, God will forgive me." Neither was my friend. We are simply refusing to carry around chains that the Lord stands ready & willing to break.)
As I anticipated 2017, I simply asked the Lord for a new morning.
I can't erase every hard thing of 2016 from my memory or my reality - it changed me, & my world.
But I can roll over, face the light, climb out of my bed of passivity, & start again.
Choose love again.
I can take every pain & regret to the cross & ask for the cleansing blood to sweep over every square inch of my heart.
I can refuse to close my eyes, ears & heart in bitterness from the anguish of last year.
My commitments say that I have to pull my body out of bed daily. There have been days of late when that's all I did. My feet hit the floor, but my heart stayed in bed. It stayed asleep.
I do not want to sleep through this dawn. I don't want to miss a single thing the Lord is doing.
I cannot shut off my emotions & expect to feel complete.
Lack of risk doesn't gain anything for me.
It's time to wake up.
Forgive me for every time I drowned You out because it felt easier, safer.
Awaken me to a fresh encounter with Your voice & Your Presence.
I look at my days & it seems that so much of life is a choice to live as one who is awake or as one who is asleep.
When I am tempted to be asleep, passive to the problems of pain of others, awaken me. May I speak Your heart boldly, may I put others above myself.
When it seems easier to sleep through what I have set apart as sacred, awaken me. Teach me to love Your ways & Your words above my own life & plan.
When all I want is to be numb, awaken me. Help me to press on through the pain instead of letting it fester in my pseudo-distraction.
When the masks are easier to accept; to believe in, awaken me. Give me eyes to see as You do. Grant me discernment, & a will to do something about what I see.
When I want to be asleep to my own flaws; my own strongholds, awaken me! Reveal what You want me to remove, what You want me to bind & cast out of my life. Let me not remain passive to my own sinful nature, but desire holiness more with every day.
When I want to compromise, awaken me. There is no thing worth choosing less of You for.
When You're moving around me, awaken me. I don't want to miss one moment, not one opportunity.
You are the light that dawns on the world. Awaken me, King Jesus.