“This is what the Lord says…forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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: 14-19)
The people in Israel trudged around for forty years because they were stubbornly afraid the Promised Land wouldn’t be any better than the desert, fearing it held unseen giants and enemies they couldn’t conquer.
What if we allow our fears to get in our way of experiencing God’s plan and promises for us? Fears of not enough time, not enough money, not enough courage, not enough capability to pursue our dreams…and we let another year go by not seeing and experiencing God’s Promised Land waiting for us? Here’s the key I’ve learned in my meditation of God’s Word…not only do we have to keep our eyes and hearts and minds open to the Lord’s plan for us…we have to suit up and show up and do the work here on earth He asks us to do to truly see and fulfill the “new things” He has in store for us!
I know as I stumble toward the end of this year I leave behind unfulfilled promises, dreams and goals. God tells me in His Word to forget these, don’t dwell on them, to look forward to the road ahead and the light the New Year brings. I dream of teaching a class full of students that have new books in them waiting to be born into the world; I dream of writing another book of my own; I look forward to a pilgrimage trip to the Holy Land and Egypt; I wait with anticipation for a new grandchild to be born; and I look forward to more time with friends and family and unexpected surprises that the Lord has waiting for me if I can be open to His miracles, go forth and do the work to experience them.
As the new year winds to a close, you may find yourself sitting with regrets that you didn’t fulfill all of your dreams and goals in 2022. Maybe you did. (Good for you!) Or maybe like most of us, you perhaps got a start…but there’s still work to be done. Enter 2023, a new year, a good reason to re-fresh, re-commit, re-prioritize. I love the New Year and all of the promise it holds. I’m ready to jump in! Are you?