Yes, it’s that time again…the end of the year…the time when you see a lot of blog posts about New Year’s resolutions, new opportunities, setting goals, etc., etc., etc.
I don’t really do this much, setting New Year’s resolutions, mostly because when I did, I couldn’t keep up my resolution to exercise or diet or whatever it was for more than a few weeks. Doomed to fail….so I just don’t do it, much.
But many people use the end of the year as a time to evaluate the past and look forward to the new year with new resolve.
We are at the end of another year. What does that mean?
I have been struck recently with a passage in Psalm 65 and want to offer it to you as a different way to think of the passing of one year into the next.
Psalm 65:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
and the hillsides blossom with joy.
13 The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep,
and the valleys are carpeted with grain.
They all shout and sing for joy!
Notice who does the action here; “you”- God crowns the year. God crowns it with “harvest.” Harvest; receiving the fruits of planting and caring for crops; something that happens at certain times of the year. Farmers and gardeners are well acquainted with this concept. Others, not so much!
And not just regular or minimum return, but “bountiful harvest.” There is a natural rhythm of life when one thinks of planting and harvesting. A bountiful harvest is always desired, but not always achieved. But seeds are planted in soil that is appropriate to grow the crop. Time passes, the crop is weeded and watered and fertilized, yet it seems as if not much is happening for a while.
“Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance…the grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture.” What a beautiful image – that hard pathway and wildnerness landscape – places where one doesn’t see beautiful plants – produces lush blossoms and is eventually carpeted with grain.
I can’t help but relate this to life….there are times when we feel like we are on a hard path in life. We are wandering in the wilderness and nothing is making sense. What a beautiful hope we have that with God, reflected in the seasons of planting, growth and harvest, the hard places we find ourselves in, the wilderness we are traveling through, is not the end of the story.
No matter where you are in the cycle of the seasons of life, I invite you to trust that God will bring about an abundant and amazing harvest. That God will “crown the year” with a harvest that will give you cause to “shout and sing for joy” as you keep the “seed of your life in the soil of God’s love where the roots of your life can grown down deep.” (Eph. 3: 17)This is my prayer for you in 2019.
My New Year’s resolution for 2019? If I had one, it would be the same resolution I try to make each day – to live life with God – to follow the leading of God’s Holy Spirit – to watch and wait for God’s movement and join God in what God is doing – to keep the roots of my life down deep in the soil of God’s love so God can produce a truly amazing harvest in and through my life.