“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19
I love new things. I love my new blog site, for instance. It’s easier to navigate, has a cool new look and I look forward to writing new things. I love reading new books, watching new movies, eating at new restaurants, etc. Although I will admit that sometimes I hesitate when something new comes my way. Sometimes new things push me out of my nice comfort zone. For example, I fought getting a new iphone for forever. I just didn’t want to let go of my nice, safe, easy flip phone. (I do understand how crazy that sounds now.) I also panic a bit when my computer tells me there are new updates that I need to install or download or whatever. I wonder, “What is this going to change on my computer? Am I going to have to learn something new to continue to use my computer? Are things going to look differently, work differently?” It stresses me out so mostly I just click the “do it later” option. Sometimes old is familiar and sometimes familiar is just safer.
But I can say without hesitation that I love when God is doing a new thing. I love it when He surprises us with new options, new opportunities to serve Him, and new directions to follow. 2011 was a year of God doing new things in my family. I can say without a doubt that each new thing that came from Him changed our lives for the better. Each new thing brought new adventures and a closer companionship with Him for each of us. I marveled, for perhaps the first time, that I could be just as excited to see the Lord working in the lives of my children as to see Him work in my own. 2011 saw my children grow to love the Jesus like never before. Growing them in wisdom stature and favor with God and man.
2012 is a new year. Lots of us take time at the start of each New Year to reflect on our lives and make some decisions to change some things for the better. Isaiah was speaking to God’s people, Israel, when he spoke those words above, but those words have meaning for us as we step into this New Year. It’s time for some of us to let go of some old things. Some “former” things. Old habits, practices, beliefs, hurts. It’s time for us to embrace that God is about doing new things. And the cool thing about it is that God doesn’t slide those things in like a note under the door. No, God likes a bit more fanfare than that. God’s word from Isaiah says that this new thing will “spring up”. It’ll be right there in front of us, will we see it?
If we look for it with expectant eyes, we will. If the former things do not blind us, we will. As I walk into 2012, I cannot wait to see the new things God will do in my life, and in the lives of those I love most. This Christmas Eve was a pretty sleepless night for me. I was just so excited for Christmas Day I could not fall asleep. So instead, I prayed and I paced. Sometimes I pray better when I am on the move. Anyone who happened to peer into my den window that night – aside from being really creepy- would have seen quite a sight as I moved around my den and talked to the Lord. I am waiting expectantly to see the answers to those petitions spring up this year right in front of us. Some already are. But if I hold onto what used to be (those “former” things) I won’t readily be able to embrace the new things God wants to bring to my life and to the lives of those I love.
So how about it? Ready to let go of the former things? Ready to embrace the new things that God wants to do so much in your life this New Year? Change can be daunting. But change that comes from the Lord is change that we need, change that will grow us, bless us, and take to places we’d never thought we’d be able to go. It’s exciting stuff. I’m ready. I hope you are, too. Happy New Year, my friends!