But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
-II Corinthians 4:7
I’ve never been one for making resolutions, but on New Year’s Eve 2019, I decided I wanted to start being intentional about putting some work into my sense of connection with God. Not to make God like me more, mind you (God already does), or bring God closer to me (God is everywhere), but in hopes that I would feel more grounded and connected to God.
I don’t think I told anyone, or even called it a resolution, but I restarted writing in a prayer journal on a regular basis. Tried picking up some spiritual practices.
If you’ve ever made New Year’s resolutions, you may be surprised to learn that these journal entries continued for nearly a month and a half, all the way to February 15!
Okay, fine. The entries had begun to trail off well before then, but there was an entry for February 15. Then there was a pandemic, and a baby, and the pandemic lasted longer than anyone expected, and that was the end of it.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
During 2020, and again in 2021, I feel like God used that intention to heal up some places in my heart that had been broken for a long time. Even though I forgot all about the plans I had made to get that growth, God took that little bit of intention, even combined with not very much follow-through, to grow me in the direction I had wanted to go.
Friends, God loves us all the time, whether we’re actively trying to connect or not, and I’m beginning to see that all God’s love needs is just the slightest opening.
We make plans and resolutions, but God makes the growth. We forget God, but God remembers us. Even when we fail to do the things we resolved, God remembers our hopes and helps draw us closer.
May God draw you closer in 2022.
Pastor David Schell