There’s something magical about the word new, isn’t there?
There’s the promise of a fresh start, a clean break with the past, a shiny future. Whilst the old can be comfortable, something new excites and intrigues us.
As a child I especially enjoyed a new box of crayons. Sixty-four gorgeous hues, all waxy with pointy perfection. It would seem a shame to color with them, and sometimes I would use my old crayons for a while and simply gaze at the new set until I couldn’t stand it any longer.
Now, as an adult, I still like to savor the new, be it bamboo cooking utensils (seriously, I have a brand new set in the mesh bag from Bed, Bath & Beyond in my drawer that I bought over a year ago!) a new document in Microsoft Word, or the beginning of 2016.
I love this time of the year after the fireworks have gone off, the holiday decorations are getting tucked away, and the New Year stretches before us, its pages bright with possibility. I’m a natural optimist, and I can’t help but think this year will always be better than last year. Every season has its challenges, of course, but I always look forward to what the next one holds.
I believe there’s something in us that craves newness. We like the idea of something unspoiled and unwrinkled.
We don’t get this attitude by happenstance.
Our God is the God of the new. Of the innovative. Of the second (or third or fiftieth!) chance.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible comes from Revelation 21:5 where He who sits on the throne says,
Behold, I am making all things new.”
I’m a bit of a grammar nerd, and I love how in the English translation, it’s in a present, progressive tense. That means it’s happening and continuing to happen right now. I’m not a Greek scholar, but Blue Letter Bible tells me that this verb is present tense (happening right now!) active voice (the subject – or God, in this case – is the one performing this action) and indicative mood (a simple statement of fact of an action that really occurs.)
I read this verse and picture God fashioning, and refashioning, and refashioning yet again our lives into something beautiful.
Because this is who God is, isn’t it? Throughout the Bible and all the rest of history, we can see Him making things over, giving hope where there was none, taking sinners and turning them into saints. Building a new temple, not of stones but of men and women who love Him and are called by Him. He gave us a new covenant where we get to be called sons and daughters of God. And His grace continually goes beyond our sin and shortcomings. As Lamentations tells us,
His mercies are new every morning.”
Perhaps last year was a difficult one. Perhaps you’re in need of a new beginning. Perhaps you’d like a brand new box of crayons to color your life with fresh creativity, more joy, and greater victory.
Be of good cheer because God would tell you He is doing a new thing and will make a way for you in the wilderness and provide rivers in the desert.
This day and every day is the perfect time to reset our thinking to embrace the new.
What are your thoughts about the new year?
This post first appeared at Quills & Inkblotts