2018, Ready or Not!

I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing 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 wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. (Isaiah 43:15-21 ESV).

You know it by the name of “Hide and Seek.” Hide-and-Seek is still a popular game for children around the world. Any number of players can play and there is no real strategy or physical ability necessary to play. You know, it is when players conceal themselves in their favorite hiding place to be found by one or more seekers. The game is played by one player chosen (designated as being “it”) closing their eyes and counting to a predetermined number while the other players hide. After reaching this number, the player who is “it” calls “Ready or not, here I come!” and then attempts to locate all concealed players. The game can end in one of several ways. In the most common variation of the game, the player chosen as “it” locates all players as the players are not allowed to move; the player found last is the winner and is chosen to be “it” in the next game. Another common variation has the seeker counting at “home base”; the hiders can either remain hidden or they can come out of hiding to race to home base; once they touch it, they are “safe” and cannot be tagged. Sometimes I feel coming into a new year we feel as if we are about to be “discovered” and must race to home base before being “tagged.”

Some of that feeling is based on our past. After all, some of us have been run over a bit by life. The message God has for each of us is that feeling is merely temporary and has actually passed. The prophet says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing 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.” It was the Lord’s way of reminding Israel that he had not forgotten them and he was doing this “new thing” to make their way good and productive. That is the message in Jesus’ work of grace. Today we have the advantage of knowing that God has already secured our eternal future. He has proven this what Jesus did for us on the cross. I love the message Jesus delivers to the thief who is dying with him: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” That is our assurance too. I don’t need to race to “home base.” Jesus has done that for me; and, I need only wait until I am called to the home is not preparing for me. Come on 2018! I’m ready for you!