It’s that time of year again: “New Year. New You.”
As the calendar flips from 2016 to 2017, many of us are examining what we don’t like about our lives and hoping to stick to resolutions that change us for the better.
Many advertisers are hoping that you’ll buy into the “New Year. New You” hype, too. Is change important? Is commitment essential? Of course they are. We all need to grow and adapt to the circumstances of life. Our daily decisions are driven strongly by the commitments we have made, both to ourselves and to others.
But the reality is that few individuals have made immediate and significant life changes because of a dramatic New Year’s resolution. The fact of the matter is that human transformation is more of a mundane process. Changes typically take place in ten thousand little moments, not one life-altering event.
The little moments of life are profoundly important precisely because they are the little moments. We live most of our existence in these mundane, everyday moments. For every huge moment, we experience ten thousand insignificant moments.
The beautiful thing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the Lord offers grace for each of these little moments. The Bible doesn’t say, “His mercies are new once a year.” No, “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Jesus is named Emmanuel, not just because he came to earth once, but because he makes you the place where he dwells every day. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life. In these small moments, he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness.
By sovereign grace, your Lord will place you in ten thousand little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom and grace so that you’ll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again – exactly what each one of us needs! Yes, you and I need to be committed to change in 2017, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation. Instead, find joy in, and be faithful to, a day-by-day and step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith.
May 2017 be your best year yet, by grace alone and in Christ alone!