Reflect, then Resolve
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
by Pastor Aaron Adame
I do not have a good memory. Details from my childhood are so foggy I wonder if they even happened or are merely a dream. Even memories from just a few years ago escape me. Perhaps it’s because so much has happened, or maybe I wasn’t paying good enough attention.
Still, as I sit here and reflect on the year 2019 in its final days—and for that matter, an entire decade of the 2010’s—a lot of big things have happened. I started the decade off in 2010 by getting engaged in May and married in October—by the end of 2010, I was ordained as a pastor. In 2013, we had our first child and our second in 2015. Throughout this last decade I was able to travel to places like Israel, New Zealand, Uganda and various places in between. We bought our first house in 2011; remodeled in 2014. I enrolled in my undergraduate program in 2013 and completed a theology degree in 2017—Also in 2017, God called my family and me out of California, and from a church I worked at for 10 years and was saved in, to serve as the pastor of Canby Christian. It has been a big decade for Michelle and me and we both look back with wonder at God’s plan, purposes and methods. Still, my memory fades…
What’s ironic about having a poor memory is that I have come to love history, and not just ancient history. I love all history because history not only tells you where you’ve been, it tells you how you got where you are and could potentially give clues as to where you are going. Having a good memory isn’t necessarily required to love history, but being intentional to remember the past is like trying not (metaphorically speaking) to stub our toes on that same couch leg as we’ve done before.
There are several commands in Scripture to remember (Deut 6:20-23, 8:18; 1 Chron 16:15; Jere 51:50; Isa 46:9; 1 Cor 11:24-28). In every case, the call is to remember what God has done for his people. To recall His faithfulness, His power, His love, His ways, His character and most importantly, His promises. It is so easy to forget, and because of this, it is easy to bring into question those things that have grown fuzzy in our memory banks. This is why we need to be intentional to remember the past so that we can live rightly in the present.
Along with this, there is a biblical precedent to resolve oneself to what we know. Joshua resolved toward the end of his life that he and his household will serve the Lord (Josh 24). Daniel resolved in his heart at the beginning of his time in exile to not defile himself (Daniel 1). Every believer in Christ has purposed to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Even Jesus, resolved in the work He came to do, fixed His eyes toward Jerusalem, en route to the cross.
I am not one to make big extravagant resolutions every year, only to give up on them a few weeks later. However, the principle of resolution is not only practical, it is biblical and wise.
As you reflect on all the things God has done this last year and decade. Take some time to thank God for His faithfulness to you. Write down some of the things you have learned about God—how you have grown as a person and follower of Jesus. Write down the challenges you’ve faced and the grace God has shown you through it. And then, ask God what it is you need to resolve in 2020. Is it prayer? Is it being more vocal about your faith? Is it reading God’s Word? Is it heeding the Word you already know? Is it surrounding yourself with like-minded people who will help you grow in faith? Is it serving or giving more to your church to meet the ever-growing needs?
As you do both of these things (remember and resolve), don’t forget that God has not forgotten you. He will not forget his promises. Just has He remembered Noah and Abraham, God remembers you. He has resolved to be with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28).