A New Year’s Challenge
I cannot believe it is already time for a brand new year! I clearly remember where I was for the beginning of 2007, and now we are at the beginning of 2008. It seems like every year I make one of the famous “New Year’s Resolutions”, but never really follow through with it. When I really reflect on what a New Year’s Resolution is, I think of making a hasty decision “perfect” my appearance by losing weight, eating healthy, or exercising more. Unfortunately, after I make these “resolutions” I quickly revert back to my old habits and never follow through with my decisions.
As this New Year approaches, Jesus has really been changing my way of thinking. I used to think that a New Year was a fresh beginning for me to change myself. However, in all reality, only Jesus can give us the strength to change. We cannot defeat our personal giants on our own. So, I have decided to throw away those resolutions that I never keep anyway and adopt a new mindset.
This year, I am embracing a “New Year’s Challenge.” What comes to mind when you hear the word “challenge”? I think of perseverance, dedication, and a lot of hard work! The dictionary definition of a challenge is “something that, by its nature or character, serves as a call to battle or contest.” Wow, a challenge is a call to battle? OK, you may be wondering where I am going with this! No, I am not declaring war on anyone in 2008. I am declaring war on my sinful nature. I am declaring that Jesus Christ is enough for me, that He alone satisfies me! My prayer is for Jesus to make me the princess He wants me to be.
Hmmm…..this whole princess thing is just for little girls, right? Absolutely not! We are all princesses because we are daughters of the King of Kings—Jesus Christ. As His princess, we must carry ourselves with strength and dignity. Our confidence should not come from our grades, popularity, family, or abilities. Our confidence should come from Jesus Christ. He is the only constant in our shifting world. This New Year, I challenge you (and myself) to allow Jesus to refine and shape you into the princess that He wants you to be. My prayer is that we focus less on the external and more on the eternal. At the end of our life, we won’t be remembered for having a perfect body or the perfect clothes. We will be remembered for whatever legacy we have left behind. You can be remembered for being a superficial drama queen or you could be remembered for living for Jesus Christ. The choice is up to you.
A resolution only requires a choice, a challenge requires action. Take the initiative to allow your inner beauty to spring forth. Jesus will mold you and shape you into who He wants you to be. The only thing that He requires is a willing heart. The process of purification isn’t always easy. Jesus will take you through low times and great times. Just remember that every moment and decision shapes you into who you will be. Praise Him through the storms and the sunshine. You are not in this alone. He is with you.
Are you ready for the best year of your life? If so, adopt this poem as a prayer for the journey:
To my King
Make me the princess You want me to be—
Try me by fire and help me stay true.
Only give me Your love, hold me close to Your heart;
Forever and always, my hope is in You!
I want to be Yours, Your daughter, Your star;
Heaven’s light, may it always shine in my eyes.
As I turn my heart toward You and Your love,
May my life be a beautiful sacrifice.
Awaken my heart with Your soft, calling touch:
May I see You each day as You open my eyes.
I will kneel at Your feet and pour out my praise
Because a poor, beggar girl You would not despise.
Breathe on me, make me live with Your life!
May I always show others the reason You came.
I give You my talents and all I possess,
I praise You, I love You, I lift up Your Name!
(R.J.S., December 28, 2005)