When I considered what to share at the beginning of 2018, I read through some prior New Year’s greetings and found one from a few years ago that still seems fresh. Please enjoy – and happy new year from all of us at Bethesda Workshops! ~ Marnie C. Ferree, founder & director
I’ve never been a fan of new year’s resolutions. In concept, it’s certainly wise to set goals and work toward achieving them. Without a vision of a different future, it’s awfully hard to live out a different present.
But when the theoretical gets translated into the practical, I find that new year’s resolutions become a source of pain more than motivation. My inevitable (or worse, my intentional) failure to keep an ardent resolution I made in the glow of angels singing and shepherds bringing unleashes the shame that lives a millimeter below the dermas of my professed belief in grace. Shame trumps second chances every time.
With persistent gentleness, the God of my understanding has recently been reminding me of the promise proclaimed by the ancient prophet Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations. God’s mercy (or compassion as some translations read) is new every morning.
God provides the daily portion of all that I need – and sometimes equally important, God provides the mercy and compassion when I can’t or won’t use the portion I’ve been provided.
This year I invite you to join me in walking through a new door every morning. Do you need the mercy of forgiveness? The compassion for a fellow sufferer – or yourself? The motivation to get back up and persevere? The willingness to face a trauma issue or let go of unhealthy coping?
Maybe you simply need the compliance to attend a meeting, connect with your support community, or dare to foster a community in the first place. More basic still, you might require the mercy to get out of bed and face the day.
Perhaps more than anything specific, you need a reminder every morning of God’s faithfulness in offering fresh mercy and compassion. Whatever the requirement of your body or spirit, God’s daily portion is there and will be fresh every morning of the coming year.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3: 22-24 (New Revised Standard)