“See, I am making all things new.”
It is a new year! The year 2020 is now in the history books. What lies ahead is uncertain. We seek hope and encouragement.
There will be a time when God sets all things right. It is in Revelation 21 that God says, “See, I am making all things new.” Obviously, that is referring to the total change at the end of this era when God resets the world. It is a great consolation, yet it seems so distant.
In Isaiah 43 God brings the hope a little closer when he says, “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. 19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” The realization for Isaiah’s time was that God was going to do something to bring them out of bondage and back to the land they loved. They could indeed put the pain of the past behind them and see the new that God was developing. That was a much more present source of hope.
Does it seem sometimes that we are navigating a vast desert in time? The desert has stretched from March through until now, and there is still desert around us in so many ways. Much of what we long for is, for the moment, rather inaccessible. The hugs and handshakes on a Sunday morning are missing. The regular family times with adult children and grandchildren are severely limited. We would just like to get out and do what we used to do, go where we used to go.
How can we discover the hope and encouragement we seek? In the Lamentations of Jeremiah there is a wonderful affirmation that God has our backs, that God is working on the behalf of all humanity. In Lamentations 3:22-23 the writer affirms God’s faithfulness. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” You see, this renewal of life depends upon the faithfulness of God … and our patience and trust.
The process of making all things new begins one moment at a time, one person at a time, one commitment to follow our Lord at a time. Isaiah encourages us to put past behind us, to live in the present in the best way possible. We were meant to be a people of hope and not a people of fear. We were meant to experience ‘life at its fullest’ no matter the circumstances. When we lean on the steadfast love of the Lord, watching for those mercies new every morning, we gain a perspective on daily living and begin uncovering the wondrous days the Lord is sending.
My prayer for 2021 begins with prayers for the curbing of COVID and its devastation on all facets of life. But beyond that, I am praying that we each would make the commitment to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to lean on his faithfulness, and to trust that today and every day is in his hands. Circumstances will change. In the meantime, may we make the most of this and every moment to connect with our loving God and connect with each other.
“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all min, with ten-thousand beside!”
“Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”
[“Great is Thy Faithfulness” #140 in the hymnal]