Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Beginnings

Happy New Year!  How many times have I heard that greeting or repeated it myself in the past week? May I tell you a little secret?  I have never been a genuine “New Year’s Eve enthusiast.”  There were years in my past when the big celebration was the thing to do among my friends…so I did.  There were also too many years to count when I rather wished the whole thing would pass me by.

For me, new beginnings means it must be the month of September.  It probably goes back to my school years when September was the start of a new school year.  My father was employed by the public school system so his life also revolved around the school calendar.

After I graduated from college, I worked as a speech therapist in a school system; once again, September meant a “new start”.  (September is also the beginning of a new fall season; January is just a continuation of winter and nothing about it feels new.)

Ok, enough of this wandering and musing.

The word “new” has been rumbling around my brain for several days as I thought about this week’s blog topic.  Of course, as always, I love researching words and ideas that are important to God so I went straight to His book.  I researched the concordance in my Bible, focusing on the word, “new”.  I found 30 references using “new” within the verses.  It appears to me God has something to say about the concept of “new”.

Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth….”  Psalm 98:1 tells us to “Sing to the LORD a new song….”  Jesus declared in John 13:34, “A new command I give you; Love one another…..”  One of my favorite verses is: 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

God is all about NEW!  Out of His perfect love and because of His perfect plan for each of us, He offers us a new beginning whenever we need one.  Since we (well, it’s certainly true for me) are sin prone, that word “new” is comforting and encouraging.

I especially love verses 22 & 23 from the book of Lamentations: “Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

This means I don’t have to wait for January 1, or even September 1, to start over, to recover from sin, to renew a relationship, to heal from a loss, to start a new business or to grow deeper in my faith.   I once heard a Christian male friend tell a beautiful story about his wife; when they were newly married and he was struggling to figure out how to be a good husband (and failing at it, according to him), his wife allowed him to have a fresh/new start every day.  What a wonderful human example of how our heavenly Father loves us and offers us the same.

So tomorrow morning, or anytime, let’s hit the road running, remembering that God offers us new mercies, new opportunities and new life.  On my business card are 3 descriptive words:  rescued/redeemed/restored.  Those words remind me of God’s mercy and faithfulness.  May you allow God, through His Son Jesus, to guide you to new beginnings, plant you in new places and bring you new joy.



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