A New Thing

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. (Isaiah 43:16-19 ESV).

Someone recently told me they wished that New Year’s was at a different time of the year. I was a bit confused by that since it seems the holiday is simply set by our calendar. After all, the “new” year starts with January 1st. After a little bit of further discussion, they told me that it wasn’t really New Year’s that was in the wrong place, but Christmas. Of course I began to be a “theologian” and agreed that the birth of Jesus was probably in the spring of the year rather than at the end of December. But then we’d need to move Easter, and that simply wouldn’t do; after all, the announcement of spring must be accompanied by Easter celebrations. The resurrection is the real “beginning” after all. And then my head really began to hurt!

I was relieved somewhat when they went on to explain that they wanted the holidays further apart simply because it would give them the possibility of more days off from work! Whew… that made it easier! And then I had to start thinking about it differently and deeper. Maybe the significance of a new year is lost on us as we are recovering from our Christmas celebrations.

That would be a great tragedy. The birth of Jesus should be a great preamble to the greatest news of all. God began to do a “new thing” when Jesus was born. This was not to be an extension on any of the works He had done previously. There were hints and dimly reflected glimpses of this new work, but no one had ever seen anything like this before. What was once a wilderness filled with danger and death now would have a clear path through it that was safe and secure. What was once an arid desert now would have a river flowing through it to bring life to everyone on that path. All of this began with the birth of Jesus.

Placing a celebration of a new year now seems most logical! I know it can feel like you are alone in the wilderness. You may be dealing with circumstances that appear overwhelming. You may feel there is no hope. Doubt and fear wash over you in what feels like everlasting waves seeking to pull you under. Don’t give up! Don’t let your circumstances rob you of your hope and peace. God is at work He is doing something new in you. God is doing something new in us. It began with Jesus and continues by His grace!