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God’s Power for You to Press On!

After a quick Google search, I discovered that New Year’s resolutions are pretty much the same from year to year.

Save money.

Exercise more.

Eat healthy.

Get organized.

Try something new.

Do you have one resolution that seems to always make your list?

I have had “take better care of myself” as a New Year’s resolution for most of my adult life. This goal is relevant to me, but it is not specific, measurable, attainable, or time-based, so it gets rolled over from year to year because it can never be fully accomplished.

What if, in 2022, instead of making resolutions hoping to fully achieve them, we focus on the One who gives us His power to “press on”?

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” Philippians 3:12-15

A few years ago, our school adopted the Christian Character Formation Project (CCFP) as our Christian Learning curriculum. One aspect of the program is the focus on seven virtues: Courage, Diligence, Integrity, Justice, Respect, Responsibility, and Self-Sacrifice. The definition of every virtue begins with the same five words, “God’s power for you to…”

In 2020 and 2021, I had an unexpected opportunity to lean into God’s power for me to take better care of myself. In October of 2020, I began to have trouble breathing, and I felt weak and tired all the time. The COVID tests were negative, so I was puzzled. Soon a rash covered my upper body and legs, and I had difficulty walking. According to my CAT scan, the doctor thought I may have lung cancer. I remember the doctor sitting me down and asking me if I wanted to call my husband to talk about next steps. I expected to feel overwhelmed at a moment like this, but that wasn’t the case. As any good educator would do, I had done my own research (Yes, I created a binder!), and I was convinced that I had Valley Fever. A boldness and a peace that surpassed all understanding came to me as I told the doctor that I will wait for the Valley Fever test results to come in before doing any more tests. I know that it was God’s power in me that filled me with courage for that day and for the next year ahead as I battled and recovered from Valley Fever.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

No matter what we believe God is leading us to develop, overcome, achieve, make progress in, or to press on in, it begins with a humble surrender to God and His power to equip and enable us to do what often seems impossible. Our loving Heavenly Father promises to empower us when we depend on Him to help us to press on to become more like Christ.

In 2022, I will press on AGAIN to take better care of myself. What lessons can I reap from Christ’s example on earth on how He cared for Himself? How can I incorporate these lessons in my life as I care for the body, mind, and soul that God gave me?

What do YOU need to press on in? May you prayerfully focus on God to empower, equip, and enable you in 2022!

Tanya Calendo, Principal, Christ Greenfield Lutheran School, Gilbert, Arizona


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