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The Work of Our Hands

It’s the time of year that I love and loathe. I love the new and the fresh and the possible. But I’m not great at making plans or evaluating what happened over the last twelve months. I’m not great at setting goals or working out how to achieve those goals. Yet planning and evaluating are natural things to do at the end of a year, and although I’m looking forward to 2021, I feel pressure to plan the work I will do. I am much better at flying by the seat of my pants than establishing a plan for my work.

Plan Things Out or Go with the Flow?

Do you fly by the seat of your pants, or do you plan out the details of life?

I have friends who are excellent at making lists, setting goals, and creating checklists to achieve their goals. New Year’s is their favorite time of year. They see the possibilities of the new and map out the steps they need to take. They often feel lost without a plan—whereas I feel smothered by one.

My daughter is the opposite of me. She loves a plan. A few years back, she was not keen on the plans I had made (or my lack of them). She made her dislike known by telling me how she was going to do things someday: “When I’m a mom, we are going to get up in the morning, and I’m going to ask the kids what they want to do, and we are going to do that thing.”

My daughter and I have different planning strategies, but something remains the same between us: we want to make our own plans. She has plans set up ahead of time. My plans come to me minute by minute. But we both want to establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90:17 as a Guide 

No matter into which camp you fall, Psalm 90:17 is a good verse to ring in the new year. It takes the burden off of us and reminds us on whom the burden has been placed: Jesus Christ.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,

and establish the work of our hands upon us;

yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17)

Jesus Christ bore the burden of our sins—the bad works we have done and the good works we have left undone—to the cross. He lets us end 2020 and start 2021 with hearts renewed and courage restored.

Regardless of how clear or fuzzy your vision is for 2021, the favor of the Lord is upon you. He is establishing the work of your hands. The amount we plan does not matter, but the work God established for us to do does matter. If you are flying by the seat of your pants, or if each hour of each day has an assigned task, God has established the work.

God’s Work for Your Hands 

As we look forward to the coming months, a few things are certain: our baptismal promise is secure. Christ is present and is for us. There will be work for us to do in service to our neighbor, and Christ has prepared that work for us to do already. He established the work of our hands in 2020, and He will do the same for us in 2021.

The work of our hands matters.

It matters to the people around us who we are serving.

It matters so much that God established it for us to do before we were even a thought.

If you are planning all the days of 2021, or if you are planning on flying by the seat of your pants, remember Psalm 90:17. Praise to the Lord, who establishes the work of our hands for His glory.


Start with a small plan for 2021 by downloading the Everyday Faith Calendar, and take part in family devotional moments each day in January. 

Download the Calendar 

Written by

Katie Koplin

Katie Koplin resides in west-central Minnesota with her husband and four kids, where fields of grain meet woods and water. She keeps busy caring for her kids, writing for her blog (lovedinspiteofself.com), drinking coffee by the pot, quilting, reading, camping, leading Bible studies, and working at her much-adored local library. Her writing and speaking focus on encouraging others to live in freedom, equipping people to see Christ for them in Scripture, and empowering others with the great love Christ has for us.

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