Tara Beth Leach

Oh, how He loves us.

This Year Will Be Different

Posted on December 30, 2013 | 5 comments

New Years Resolution

This year will be different.  This year I will change.  This year I will…

Stop buttering my cinnamon rolls.

This year will be different.  This year I will change.  This year I will…

Find a more accurate scale.

This year will be different.  This year I will change.  This year I will…

Buy elastic pants for next year’s holidays.

This year will be different.  This year I will change.  This year I will…

Stop drinking coffee or orange juice after I have just brushed my teeth.

But seriously.

It’s that time again; it’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions, right?  I am seeing posts all over the place: New Year’s Resolutions, Bucket Lists, Things to Let Go of in the New Year, Hopes for 2014, Tweaks and Changes in the New Year.

Who doesn’t love dreaming about goals accomplished and challenges met?

During this second week of Christmas and as we approach the New Year, I am reminded of Anna and Simeon (Luke 2:25-52) who year after year had expectations.

Not long after the birth of the Messiah, Jesus’ parents did what all law-abiding Jews did in their day.  Mary and Joseph brought their precious child just 40 days after Jesus’ birth to the temple to perform the dedication of their firstborn to be set aside for the Lord.

As Mary and Joseph arrive at the Temple, an old man by the name of Simeon happens to bump into them.  Simeon, you see, wasn’t just any man; Simeon had been waiting for them.  He had been divinely told by God himself that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Christ child.  He is described as a devout man; he loved the LORD and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

For years Simeon waited.

And waited.

Simeon had one thing on his bucket list: To see the long expected King.

And he waited.

One morning, old in his age, Simeon woke from his sleep with a feeling.  It wasn’t just any feeling; he knew that the day would be different.  He woke up with a fire in his soul, a leading in his heart, and a longing to see his King.  That morning he knew the Spirit was leading him to the temple.

It was there, at the temple, Simeon’s bucket list was met and a promise was fulfilled.  As he saw a young, poor Jewish couple approach with a tiny infant in their arms, Simeon’s heart skipped a beat as a still small voice declared, it’s Him.

He knew.

Simeon embraced the small infant and held him in his arms as he proclaimed,

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.  I have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people.  He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

That was it.  He’d seen it all.

Every hope,

every longing,

every expectation,

every dream,

every aspiration,

every desire,

every goal,

fulfilled right there in that very moment.

But the story doesn’t end there.   An old widow by the name of Anna was also there in the temple.  Anna was 84 years old and was potentially widowed for 63 years.  Loneliness, grief, old age, and poverty didn’t stop this woman from a childlike faith and a reckless pursuit toward the Divine.  For most of Anna’s life she remained at the temple, both day and night, fasting and praying.

Every day, for 63 or so years, Anna prayed faithfully and fasted with an unquenchable expectation that she would not die before meeting her King.

One day, just like any other day, Anna was in the temple faithfully praising God as she always did.  Except this day she heard a great commotion.  As she made her way to the noise, her eyes locked with a tiny little infant’s eyes.

She knew.

This infant wasn’t just any infant.  It was her King.

That was it.  She’d seen it all.

Every hope,

every longing,

every expectation,

every dream,

every aspiration,

every desire,

every goal,

fulfilled right there in that very moment.
What if that was all we needed?

What if an encounter with the living, breathing, and resurrected King was enough?

What if every hope, every longing, every expectation, every dream, every aspiration, every desire, every goal could be met in the very presence of our Messiah?

What would it look like for us to live with a reckless desperation to be in the presence of our King just as Anna and Simeon -to make every decision, to set every goal, to orient our lives in a way that puts us at the feet of Jesus?

I want that.

I want it so desperately.

What are your hopes for 2014? Do you have a lofty financial goal? An unattainable weight resolution? What if we made every single goal, every single resolution, every single financial plan, and every single health choice through one simple yet radical concept:  A life oriented towards the presence of our King Jesus.

Day by Day.

Breath by Breath.

Moment by Moment

Year by Year.

New Year’s Resolution after Resolution.

My dear brother, sister, friend or foe, I believe if you allowed the all-consuming, life changing King to be at the very forefront of your life in 2014, this New Year will be different.

Desperate for Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Kelly December 30, 2013

    Love you!!!! This is awesome

    • Arlene Moore December 30, 2013

      Beautiful! My resolution is to grow more in love with Jesus. Everything falls in to place according to HIS will(: thank you Tara Beth. xox. Mom

  2. Jaclyn December 31, 2013

    So glad I have you on my blog roll. This brought peace yet yearning and expectation in my soul. Like many others, I have a few resolutions. My biggest one is to read the new testament front to back. I read through the psalms this fall and winter and was transformed by the expansion in my heart and mind. The psalms made the gospel so much more epic, so much more profound and mind blowing. I want more of that. Happy new year! And ditch the scale. :-)

  3. Michele Imbery December 31, 2013

    Spoken from the heart! Definantly regrounds my thoughts for this new year! Thank You Tara Beth!

  4. chrisineedstoshare December 31, 2013

    This is truly inspiring. Your writing is so in depth, so easy to understand and yet so involved, detailed in scope, and so uplifting! I am glad to have found your father, I love his writing, but also because through him I found you. May you be blessed beyond measure in 2014 and always!

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