Happy “New” Year! It is 2014!
I just have to say . . . I love “new” things! I love new clothes, new soft socks, fresh new clean sheets on my bed, new books (I really love these!), new projects, the start of a new Bible study, new events, new songs, a new season (especially Spring!), ‘new’ Bible reading plan . . . and “New” year’s.
Here’s what is true though ~ I love ‘new’ clothes until I’ve worn them a couple times and then they don’t feel ‘new’ any more. I love ‘new’ projects until I’m about half way into them and then I would like to be done (especially if they’re more on the administrative side of life). I love ‘new’ socks until they’ve been washed a few times and they lose their softness and begin to get thin in the heal. I love ‘new’ worship songs until the next ‘new’ worship song comes out. I love the ‘new’ year to begin another to read-thru-the-Bible until I get to Leviticus.
I love a ‘new’ year . . . but usually only January 1st because somehow January 2nd feels like December 31st all over again.
Can anyone relate? Do you hear what I’m saying? Do you feel what I’m feeling?
Why do I/’we’ love “New” things? What is it that tugs at our hearts so much when it comes to ‘new’ things? What does it represent? What does it satisfy in us?
I believe one reason is there is a sense of hope in the ‘new’ thing . . especially in a New Year. We get this sense that this year will hold something in it that the last year did not. It will be better. Even if your last year was not so bad, there is still this sense of a ‘better tomorrow’. The New Year is like a fresh, clean slate.
God’s Word does speak to this ‘new’, fresh, clean start also. Isaiah 42, verse 9a says: “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare”. Again in Isaiah 43, the Lord says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (v. 18-19a, ESV)
This is repeated again by Isaiah in chapter 48, verse 6 but its also spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Paul says here, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
God is a God of ‘new’ and fresh clean starts. It gives us hope to think that we could be something better than we once were.
It takes time to become this ‘new’ creation that God promises when we are ‘in Christ’ and honestly . . . we get impatient. Ok, more accurately ~ I get impatient (I’ll speak for myself). So much in this world seems to move fast and change quickly . . so why don’t I? (maybe you ask yourself the same question)
God’s timing is not our timing. In Isaiah, chapter 61, as the Lord is telling His people what He will do for them . . the ‘new’ thing He will eventually do for them. In verse 3, one phrase stands out that makes a world of difference for me . . hopefully for you also.
It says: “So they will be call oaks of righteousness” . . . woe!
An oak tree starts from a small seed and takes a long time to grow. Once fully grown . . it is a beautiful sight to see. What is also truly amazing is how oaks are known for their very deep and strong roots. And, I’m going to guess that it is because oaks grow slowly. (Although, I’m not really an expert on trees but this just seems to make sense; do correct me if I’m wrong!)
God is looking for us to be ‘new’ creations, but He also knows it will take time. We must not tire of the length of time and the process. And we must not try to have the ‘do-it-all-and-do-it-now!’ mentality.
So what one little step could you do this year to grow your roots deeper and stronger? A friend posted this on Facebook the other day and I’ve been praying about taking up this challenge for the year. You pick one word to focus on for the year that will help you grow deeper and stronger in your progress towards Christ-likeness. I’ve not come up with my ‘one word’ yet, but I am praying on it.
Will you consider joining me in this one word challenge?
Blessings to you, my friends!