The Blessing of New

Last night we celebrated the coming of the New Year with those in Time Square. On TV of course, from the comfort of our bed! After our morning coffee and reading ritual, we went to Old Town Fort Collins for brunch. We returned home for me to watch some of the college football games. On the way home we did stop by Kohls for my first shopping trip trying to use a walker. It proved to be more taxing than I anticipated. But we did come away with some good buys!

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”   Isaiah 43:19

One of my favorite words, especially in the Bible is the word, “new.” In the English Standard Version (ESV) that I have read through most recently it is found 211 times. We see references to new heart, new mind, new creation, new birth, new heavens and earth, just to name a few. One of my favorites verses is in Revelation 21:5 “Behold, I am making everything new!…”

As this new year dawns, it is important to look forward to the coming weeks and months and walk in anticipation, knowing that the Lord will be with us and provide all that we need. As the Lord speaks through Isaiah he challenges God’s people about God’s “new thing” with the words, “it springs up, do you not perceive it?”

When I see that question it challenges me to be alert and open to what is happening and how the Lord is leading. In order to move forward in the new year, we can’t keep looking the “rear view mirror” of the past. The Message paraphrase of Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present.”  When my friend Raimund Ruf visited me this past summer he wrote in our guestbook the saying, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a blessing.”

Then I notice the prophet says, “….it springs up…” This is something of the Lord’s doing. Yes, it requires our cooperation and diligence, but if we move into the future and it seems that we are forcing something to happen, it may not be the “new thing” the Lord wants to do. As I plan for my future I am finding this out. There are some thoughts that I have had and plans that I thought would be good that didn’t materialize. But when I followed my heart, I began to receive confirmation from different people about my thoughts and plans, even if they all aren’t developed and haven’t materialized.

Finally, embracing the new requires a commitment to be a life-long learner and make adjustments with each new phase of life. That may come with age, it may come due to a major life event or a move. It is important to recognize and embrace the “new season” of life that may be coming in the new year; face it with a sense of anticipation, knowing that the Lord is the One who makes a way through the wilderness, He can bring streams to the wasteland.

This is certainly where I am in my life, as I move forward in recovery to more meaningful activity. What is the “new thing” that Lord wants to do in your life, through your life this year?