…“Everything is possible for one who believes.” – Mark 9:23
Every year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve the television is full of “Year in Review” specials. Maybe it’s because we live such busy lives and forget everything that happened over the past twelve months, but for some reason we find ourselves drawn to these shows. So whether it’s curiosity or forgetfulness, it is interesting to take a moment and look back.
History (even if it is very recent) has a way of reminding us who we really are. We can fool ourselves when it comes to the future. How many of you have already vowed to lose 20 pounds, better manage your time, organize your closets, and get your finances in order for the upcoming year? These big four topics are also common themes this week. In fact, a recent trip to Meijer put me into a special department filled with calendars, closet organizers, exercise equipment, and budget software all conveniently displayed in the same place; similar to “Back to School” shopping. It was an interesting display, because seeing it made me realize that the store was banking on something that most of us do not understand about ourselves.
We are reactionary. We get motivated by arbitrary things like dates on a calendar, milestones in our lives, or comparisons with people whom we perceive to be above or below us. These benchmarks prompt us to make statements, write lists, spend money, and try fads that promise to turn us around and launch us into a successful future. This is where history comes into play. There’s a reason why Meijer chose these items to group together: those were the things that flew off the shelves last year when we all made the same promises to ourselves that didn’t last until Valentine’s Day. And this doesn’t only apply to New Year’s Resolutions. Think about the commitments you’ve made over the past year and ask yourself these questions: How many have I kept? How many have I abandoned? What are the short and long term consequences of both? So as the cycle renews, what am you planning to do differently this year to achieve a better result?
In the Mark 9 passage, we see a Father bringing his demon-possessed son to Christ, knowing that his own efforts have proven futile. Christ explains to him and to assembled crowd, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Our faith in Christ empowers us to do things that cannot be done when left to our own ability and strength. This doesn’t totally eliminate us from the equation. It shows us the importance of seeking the will of God in our lives, of bringing our concerns to Him, and trusting in His power, mercy, and grace for all of our needs.
As I look back over the year gone by I am amazed at what God has accomplished in me. My gains were tremendous blessings for which I am incredibly thankful. My losses have taught me lessons that God will use to prepare me for my future. Through it all, I praise God for what He has started and for what He continues to perfect within me. It is my prayer that we all use the opportunity that the calendar provides to once again surrender our lives to Christ, aligning our beliefs to His promises, making “Everything Possible” once again.