I always kind of forget about New Years. As a teacher, I feel like my calendar begins when school starts and ends in the summer. After all, the new school year is really the time when we get a fresh start, and January becomes a half-way marker, like a second chance at doing things right.
2005 has been a year of incredible growth and change for me on a personal level, and in many ways, on a professional level as well as I undergo the National Board certification process. There are so many things that I worried about last year: Where would I live? How would I pay bills during the summer? What would my new class be like? And God has handled all of those things. So many times I have tried to see ahead rather than just trust the Lord to provide for me. Isaiah 55:8-9 always comes to mind: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I've been spending my daily devotional time in Proverbs this week, and there are so many verses in that book that speak to this topic. Proverbs provides reassurance that we don’t have to figure it all out ourselves: Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
As we look to the year ahead, it's only natural to wonder how (or if) the circumstances we are in now are really working for our good and what the future will bring. How can we understand the road we travel? It is the LORD who directs our steps. (Proverbs 20:24). We need to get in tune with the One who has designed us and knows our lives, and He will provide all the wisdom we need to navigate this world. When we focus on ourselves and our own lives instead of Him, we leave out the source of all understanding and shortchange ourselves through worry and doubt. To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. (Proverbs 19:8).
Making New Years resolutions can be productive because it gives us goals to work towards. But as Christians, let us never lose sight of this truth: You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21).
Normally I suggest further readings with the devotions for those who want to go more in-depth, but the scriptures are really the heart of what I want to share, so I’m going to include the full text here. I pray that you will receive God’s word with an open heart and look forward to all that He has in store for you in the 2006 and years to come. God bless you all!
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise planning will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. (Proverbs 2:2-11, NLT).