Wash, Rinse, Repeat

2019.

I’ve seen a lot of posts from all of you, few say you rocked 2019- let’s do it again.

They’ve said 2019 was a year of growth or of pain. It was the year that put you on your knees or a year that taught you something. A year of mistakes, or of regret.. maybe even a year of all the above.

Today is a new day, the start of a new year, of a new journey in the same old life, but a new era, a new decade. With those things comes new opportunity.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

You recognize the phrase, but these are instructions for shampoo, not for life.

All of last year I allowed myself to become trapped in this cycle:

“God this hurts, God I trust you but I do not understand, God I Praise you anyway, *Eats snack* –> feels better, plays with kids, gets on scale. Repeat.”

I’ve given this year twenty pounds and an immeasurable amount of tears, started over every Monday and on Tuesday found myself in the pantry. Too busy to show up for you, too down to show up for myself, and so I would pray, God would heal, and I would do it all over again.

Obviously, my problems are much greater than this simple analogy, but we all have something. Honestly, I wish the only problem I had was numbers on a scale, but that is just what I used to cover up what really hurts. Those extra pounds were the bandaid problem to my problem-problems… and I don’t know what yours are, but I do know where they start.

“A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher what good thing must I do to have eternal life? Jesus answered, “why do you ask me about what is good? only God is good. But if you want to have eternal life, obey the law’s commands.  Then the man asked which ones? Jesus answered, You must not murder anyone, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not tell lies about others, you must respect your father and your mother, and love you neighbor the same as your self. The young man said I have obeyed all these commands. What else do I need? Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect then go and sell all that you own. Give the money to the poor and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me. But when the young man heard Jesus tell him to give away his money, he was sad. He didn’t want to do this, because he was very rich. So he left.” Matthew 9: 16-22

you see, our problems are hard but the answer is simple.

You can follow all the rules, and be sad when you break them, but God never expected you to make it perfectly and smoothly.

“only God is good.”

He didn’t say get it all right, but He did say give it all away. Outside of money, what have you held on to that you know you need to let go of?

I know what mine is. It’s a pain and hurt so deep I’ve never experienced it before. I hold on to it, but respond by all of the rules. I try to do the right things, respond the right ways, tell the truth and seek it, but my hand is still closed around the pain that feels so wrong. I feel like I deserve to hold on to it because I’m standing on the right side of it.

but I don’t.

I apologize to God for the feelings I have, He heals them, and I pick it up again- like an old friend that I haven’t seen in years, we pick up right where we left off.

“He didn’t want to do this, so he left.”

and this is where my problems meet yours.

We leave.

God calls us to let go of things we were never meant to control, to lay down the things that feel big because they are big, to trust him when we can’t see Him… and that’s hard. In a world where we have nearly everything at our fingertips, we are so used to instant gratification. Like we expect God to be some sort of magic genie, prayer, prayer, poof.

done.

Some of you are praying right now, trusting to the lord that 2020 is going to be your year. A different year, one full of blessings and fulfillment, and I’m so happy for you. I am standing beside you cheering you on. Good for you! but in that same breath I want to remind you of the difference in hope and trust.

Hoping is wanting something to happen or to be the case while trusting is being okay and content even if it don’t because God is good at being God.

Gosh, isn’t it hard? Desperately wanting and needing God to intervene in that place that you have been relentlessly calling Him to and Him saying actually trust Me, it’s better for you this way?

Jeremiah 32: 40 says I will make a covenant with them that will last forever, a covenant to stick with them no matter what, and work for their good.” the message version; “I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, I will inspire them to fear me so that they will never turn away” NIV;  “I will make an everlasting covenant with them I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.” NLT

All of these version different versions say the same thing in different ways just like God is whispering to you and I the same song just using different hurts and different seasons.

I love you, child. I promise I am with you forever. I promise that I will only do GOOD for you, what’s best for you, so trust me, worship me, and never stray from me.

You see God promises to never leave us, He promises that He knows best… but He doesn’t promise that we will stay. He cannot make us,  He can’t make us sure that sometimes we don’t think we know better than He does. That is why we have to choose for ourselves to enter into this covenant with Christ, to choose for ourselves to let Him be Lord over our lives. To choose him as our Savior and not just our spare tire when our plans fall through and we need extra help.

In christ we have all of the power of Christ, but without Him… away from Him.. we just have ourselves. Stack those odds against a big and nasty world and they aren’t in your favor.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Stop it. Stop apologizing for the same thing, being rescued from it, and then running back to it and TRUST God.

Our problems may not be the same but the answers to our problems are and it’s Christ. He is Almighty, All Powerful, All knowing, and girl, if you choose, He is all YOURS, and mine, and hers.. and that is just amazing.

I am so sorry if 2019 hurt you, was full of loss, or pain, or brought you to your knees, but 2020.

God told the Samaritan woman in John 4 that a time was coming, in fact the time was now that we could worship the one true God in spirit and in truth, that He could offer a drink of water for which we will NEVER thirst again.

Quit waiting on all of the Mondays, the New Years, or even the new decade and start now. His mercies are new every morning. Start again every day trusting the Lord as the covenant keeping way maker that only has good things for you.

because He is. He will. and He won’t stop.

God,

We know that we are human and completely incapable of following all the rules to perfection, we know that thanks to Your ultimate sacrifice, we’re not required to. We also know that even though our sin does not count, God, that does not mean it does not matter. What we do matters, because Lord, You matter. Help us to choose you God, and when we don’t, help us to be sad, but also to stay. God, cover us in Your love that is so Great, so Mighty, that we will not leave because You, Lord, are the only One that Goes before us, that knows all sides of the story, the pieces we see and the ones we never make contact with. Give us hope, God, that this year is it, but father more than that, give us a trust that knows even if it isn’t, that it is coming. God, thank you so much for the opportunity to enter into an everlasting covenant of safety and protection. Thank you, God, for you.

Amen,

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