Each new year brings a sense of a fresh start–an opportunity to hit the “reset button”. This year, more than any other year, we definitely want to move past 2020 into the hopefulness of a new year.
Whether you are a resolution maker or not, the new year is an opportunity to leave behind the things of the past, whether bad habits or simply bad memories, and look forward to new possibilities.
This year especially, I am drawn to these verses in Isaiah 43:16, 18-21:
This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters…“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..to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
I love these verses because they are a reminder to me that God is asking me to no longer focus on what was, but keep my eyes ahead on what He is about to do. The same God who parted the sea so His people could find a way through, is now asking us to leave behind those things that are not of Him and not dwell on what has been. Instead He invites us to focus ahead on what He has prepared for us.
It is so easy for the trauma of this past year to stick with us like a lead weight. We want to move ahead but we are still living in the aftershock of all the challenges of 2020. It was a difficult year and the effects of it continue to linger in our lives, but God is asking us to turn our focus toward Him–toward His presence now and to where He plans to take us in the coming year.
Because when we dwell on the past, we just might miss something new He is doing in us or around us. We can lose sight of where God is taking us and the wonderful things ahead. When we shift our perspective from “what was” to “what is”, we can more clearly see the new things He has before us.
If you are feeling like you are coming out of the wilderness of last year, take heart, He is making a way through that wilderness and bringing His living water to the wasteland. His hope springs up before us! We are His chosen people and He is making us new each day. We are His beloved! He delights in making all things new and providing for His people.
As we go into this new year, my prayer is that we can have eyes that see all that God is doing around us; that we will see His wondrous works springing up before us. We have a new start in Jesus. He is our hope and our future!