What’s been your best resolution ever? Have you ever made a resolution that changed your life? I did.
Nine years ago I was working hard to be a good wife, a good mom, a good friend and a good Christian. I’m a textbook first born child; a bit of a driver, a rule follower and an excessive sense of responsibility… but no matter how hard I worked at doing the right things I could never consistently capture the joy and freedom God promises His children. It’s not that I was sad, but the weight of life was heavy on my shoulders. There were moments of relief, but God doesn’t promise mere moments—He promises a life journey of freedom and joy. What was I doing wrong? I found the answer hidden in the question.
Lasting joy and freedom are not found in what I “do”. Oh, they may provide a momentary sense of satisfaction and maybe even a rush of joy, but then it’s on to the next thing and the next and the next… Joy becomes dependent on the results of my “doing” and is often reliant on how others respond to my “doing”. I feel pressure just thinking about it.
I resolved to stop pursuing joy and freedom and proactively view everything in my life as one big opportunity for God to work. Every challenge was filtered through the character of God. If I was stressed, depressed, worried or bitter I would ask myself, “What attribute of God am I struggling to believe is true in this circumstance?” Inevitably I discovered my lack of faith in one or more of His attributes. Claiming His power, mercy, love, faithfulness etc. in each circumstance gave birth to joy and a sense of anticipation for what God would do with the challenges. I was free. Beautifully, wonderfully free.
I am a different woman today because of that one resolution. It’s not that I have perfect faith (far from it!) but every day I’m quicker to take those doubts and fears to the only One who can turn them into confidence and joy. It’s a resolution that will continue for a life time! I wake up almost every day anticipating what God is going to do… not what I’m going to do. It’s soooo much more fun!
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. John 10:5 NLT