You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. James 1:19
Do you remember when New Year’s rolled around and you made some New Year’s resolutions? Were you able to accomplish your goals? Did you give up? Did you readjust your goals?
I will be the first to confess that I have had MANY goals that I have failed to accomplish. I can be over zealous sometimes and end up taking on more than I can handle. I attribute my lack of success to one thing: trying to do it myself.
When I took on “The Tickle” 30-day challenge 16 days ago, I remember thinking “I am in way over my head. How can I change habits that are ingrained in me in just 30 days?” This is an example of how I can fail at a goal because initially I see myself trying to do it in my own strength. But in the same moment, I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my strength come from? It comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2). “Okay, now that I took God out of the box, let’s do this!”
This past week was another AMAZING week. I jumped, I stumbled, I failed, I triumphed. I took on the added challenge to laugh and smile more and boy did that feel GREAT! I didn’t realize how much I didn’t laugh until I started making it a new habit. It is easy for me to laugh amongst friends or on a good day, or when I’m watching a funny movie. But it is hard to laugh when I am stressed, upset, frustrated, or depleted. And honestly, that is when I NEED a laugh and that is what I did. It was good medicine (Proverbs 17:22).
As I reflect on this past week, I think of times that were particularly challenging for me. I think of times I slipped into my “quick to speak” and “quick to get irritated” mode and rambled on more than I should have. But when I realized it, I surrendered to God and said “I can’t do this. I need your help.” I would pray James 1:19 over my heart and God gave me the strength to speak life. I am not perfect. I am a work in progress.
I think of times I handled things well and walked away with a smile on my face because I knew that was the way God wanted me handle it, not the way I wanted to handle it. I think of times when I responded with silence. As a result I was approached with apologies and softened hearts. I think of times I stopped to listen and as a result I received unsolicited confessions and heart-to-heart talks. (YEAH!)
I am only 16 days into the challenge and I am deeply amazed at how the Lord has changed my heart. I am so humbled that my precious Savior would look upon me with favor and open my eyes to see the multitude of blessings that I can receive in the midst of my chaotic, busy, and often stressful days. I am looking forward to the next week with an open heart and mind ready for the Lord to mold me and reveal more of His blessings to me. This challenge has been very hard for me, but God is faithful and I am learning so much.
Oh…and guess what? I LOST MY VOICE on Saturday! Isn’t that timely? Guess I’ll be on top of my game with my slow to speak this week!!!!
God can do amazing things in your life. He can accomplish more in you than you can ever imagine. What you think may be an impossible goal, is possible with God. Dust off those New Year’s resolutions or commit to making new ones (Maybe you can join me for the remainder of this challenge). Don’t be afraid to fail. Just believe that through God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Take a moment to pray and bring your goals before Him. He will give you the strength to do it or the strength to accept what you cannot do.
Do you have any goals that you need to dust off and start up again? Why do you think you failed at accomplishing them? Are you afraid to fail? Do you believe that even the most difficult goals can be accomplished through Christ? If you joined me on this challenge, how did your week go?