I normally don’t make New Years resolutions, after all everyday is a new beginning, and an opportunity for a fresh start, right? Just like every Monday is a good day to start the diet I ruined the previous Wednesday😆. Well this New Year I felt different and I boldly decided to take on the responsibility of…..a resolution.
The decision started forming on New Year’s Day after we brought down the Christmas decorations. I was feeling a little blue that the holidays ended and another year gone by, etc. Then I chastised myself and said, ‘Self, get it together! You need to be thanking God for another year of life you got to spend with your family, friends, and all your loved ones.’ It was then I realize that maybe just maybe, I needed to be a little more grateful. So at dinner I declared to my husband, ‘This year 2018, I am going to be more grateful and everyday I am going to write something I am thankful for’. He stared at me blankly for a moment before blinking and saying, ‘wow’. I still don’t know what he meant or what he was thinking with his response. However, I proceeded to tell two of my closest friends of my new year resolution. ‘I am going to be more grateful and more positive this year by not let anything meaningless weigh me down.’
It was barely day 2 at about 4am in the lab I work, when I was about to start grumbling about a big desk chair that in my opinion does not belong in that area. As I started to roll it, I caught myself before complaining and turned to my friend who was a step away from me, ‘Today I am grateful for the wheels on this chair, it makes it so much easier to shove out of the way’. We both laughed and I was smiling later when I texted my other friend about my new profound indebtedness to the wheels on the chair. Later on I pondered though, didn’t it seem silly to be thankful for wheels? I defended my appreciation with the acknowledgement that, this chair really does irk me😂. However, does this chair annoy me to the extreme of loosing my salvation over it? That thought made me smile and as I reflected I told myself maybe I’m going about this New Year resolution the wrong way. Maybe I should focus on getting closer to God. After all, the closer I get to God the more of His Spirit I’ll have in my life, leaving room for less negativity or anything that can weigh me down, and more room for peace, love and, gratitude….right?
My confirmation came on day 4 while at work. I put on my earphones and open my bible gateway app (I totally recommend this app, they use different voices and sound effects!) and started listening to the book of 1 Kings. It was right about chapter 17 when God started speaking to me in a figurative manner. When the widow’s son died and Elijah carried him up the stairs to his upper room and laid him on his own bed and cried out to the Lord, several things came to my mind.
The first thing that came to me were other references of an upper room in the Bible and how significant those moments were just like this instance Elijah experience with the dead boy. In Acts chapter 1 the disciples along with other followers were in an upper room when the Spirit of God filled them. Also, in Luke 22 it was in an upper room were Jesus and his disciples had the Last Supper, such an intimate time with our messiah. Then, here in 1 Kings 17 in an upper room a boy comes back to life. I thought of how important it is for us to have a place to allow this intimate relationship with God. A place where we can cry out to him and he can fill us with his spirit, where we can let him in so we can dine with him and he with us as he says in Revelation 3:20. A place where we can leave our dead weight.
After hearing this chapter, I went back to read it, I was fascinated with the fact that Elijah carried the dead boy up the stairs to the upper room. I’m sure Elijah could have prayed there in the room the boy laid and he would have risen, but he chose to literally carry the dead weight. As absurd as that sounds how many times do we carry dead weight around and refuse to surrender it to God? I know I have, then I start feeling all these unwanted negative emotions and start drifting from God. Yet, I’m sure Elijah had a purpose, it was probably in this intimate room where Elijah would pray and feel connected to God. So he lay the dead boy on his bed, cried out to God three times before the boy arose. I thought of that saying ‘you made your bed now lie in it’, how about….no. Here’s a thought, how about instead of lying in the bed I made, I put to rest all that oppresses me, burdens me, all that deprives me of peace, and all my dead weight, on that awful bed I made and cry out to the Lord? If he doesn’t respond on the first time maybe he will on the third time like he did with Elijah but, he will respond. How about this year I stay positive and grateful, simply by not picking up any dead weight and if I do, take it straight to the bottom of the cross? Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’
This year I will make it my Resolution to not bring dead weight from last year and certainly not accrue any. I want to draw closer to God and leave all my burdens at his feet. With nothing holding me down, I will have a lot extra to be grateful for. ❤