"New Beginnings"

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By: Emily Watkins

“I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23 (NIV)

Making daily to-do notes is a habit of mine, and New Years is the best time for coming up with gigantic resolution lists! Oddly enough, though I am tempted to get out my notebook and write down my goals for the New Year, I’ve felt God speaking to me: “Stop! Wait a minute! What about Me?” He wants me to take into account His plans for my life in the coming year. How can I think I am wise enough to “direct my steps” anyway (Jeremiah 10:23, Proverbs 20:24)? After all, haven't I given my life to Him? Haven't I asked Him to reign in my heart?

In His kindness God reminded me of my weakness and dependency on Him. Creator of everything, He knows the beginning and end of all things. In comparison to His wisdom, mine is a tiny grain of sand.

I don't want to hold my future, which was never mine in the first place, in a tight grip. Jesus told His disciples, “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it” (Matthew 16:25, NIV). I want God to be in the driver's seat.

My prayer for this coming year is: “Lord, here I am, Your servant; this year is in Your hands.”

This fall, I started college. One chapter of my life had ended and another has begun, bringing a mix of emotions. Similarly, as we look to the New Year, sometimes we have mixed emotions. We don’t always want to leave behind the familiar, but at the same time we’re excited and hopeful for what the future holds.

Thankfully, God desires to guide us on this adventure of life. I encourage you to invite God into your plans and ask Him to lead you as you look ahead into the New Year. May we not lean on our own understanding, but instead trust Him with all our heart and allow Him to direct our steps. May we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength while we wait for His perfect timing on everything in our lives.

We are just in the beginning of our walk with Christ and there is so much more that God wants to show us! May he reveal more of Himself to us in 2011 as we completely surrender to Him and to His plans for this New Year!

Father, thank You so much for a new year and a new beginning. Thank You for the blessings of family, friends, and the sacrifice of Your Son. Lord, I give You my heart this year – for that is all You desire. I trust in You to direct my steps. Thank You that no one whose hope is in You will ever be disappointed (Psalm 25:3)! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Ponder: Philippians 1:6, “…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).

Apply: Surrender the new year to the Lord and ask God to give you a greater understanding and hunger for Him. Instead of making a list of New Year's resolutions, ask God to speak to your heart and reveal His plans for this year. Write down anything you hear Him saying to you.

Read: For Such a Time As This by Lisa Ryan

Share: What do you like about new beginnings?

© 2008, 2010 by Emily Watkins. All rights reserved.

Emily Watkins is a freshman at the University of South Carolina and a former missionary kid in Poland. Her favorite food is strawberries and cheese, and she loves spending time with friends and family, riding her bike, writing, drawing with colored pencils, and learning about new cultures and places. Emily’s greatest passion and desire is to worship God, which she does by serving her community, praying for others, and modeling Christ’s excellence at work and in school. For several years, Emily has also had dreams about going to Africa, and so she plans on using her studies in international business to one day help improve living conditions in poor countries. But for now, she is enjoying her new college life in Columbia, her wonderful friends and family, and all the surprises the Lord brings to her each day.

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