by Anita Miles
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
So maybe I’m a little weird…but I LOVE to open a new jar of creamy peanut butter and be the first to scoop out that first spoonful of new perfection. I’m kind of the same way about a new pack of pens, highlighters or post it notes. I feel the need to protect them and keep a count to be sure none of them have disappeared! I have to keep them protected from the other 6 hands that live at my house. I could go on and on about the other things that make me smile… There’s just something special about the feeling of something “new!”
If you’re reading this, there’s something else new that we have all been mercifully handed. We have reached another decade! Let that thought sink down deep and absorb!! ...It’s not just another new year in the calendar but a brand new DECADE! Beginning with 2020. The year of Vision. Clarity. Intentionality. Balance.
A couple of Sundays ago, I looked out at the faces of the younger women sitting in my Sunday School class and challenged them to evaluate their thoughts on this fact. Right now, they are in their late teens and early 20s - wondering what the answers to the greatest questions of their lives will be. Who is going to be my Mr. Right? How long will it be before he comes along, sweeps me right off of my feet, and we can get on to the next phase of life? What dreams do I want to fulfill in this stage. What will my life look like in 10 years? I perceive that I was pretty accurate in saying that the things they are thinking and dwelling on right now, will NOT be the things they will be thinking of in 10 years. It’s very possible that they will be like me... I’m always wondering when the next nap is I can catch between family obligations, laundry, keeping up a house, maintaining relationships, and my next scheduled shift to work, etc…
A lot can happen in 10 years. I look at the landscape of my life today and it looks significantly different than it did a decade ago. The gray in my hair and the crease between my brows are the first places to start!! Friendship structures are different. Family dynamics have changed a bit. We now have a teenage daughter who is 13 going on 30. We also have a little 3 year old mister at our feet most of the time that takes every ounce of energy that I can muster up daily! Let me tell you - our world is NOTHING like it was a decade ago!!
If we all were to look backwards 10 years, it would probably be a little humorous to us at how much we’ve matured and learned over that period of time. We may even think to ourselves, “I worried about THAT???” Some things seem so insignificant once we’ve passed them and realized they weren’t going to be the death of us! But man were they giants on the other side!
In the end, life is all about changes and growth. Sometimes that growth is to our great pleasure and then at other times to our deep dismay. Sometimes we are forced to look back and see how immature we reacted at a few events. Sometimes we are a bit mortified to admit how wrong we were in our strong opinions that turned out to be quite damaging. Sometimes we just wish we could go back and undo some stuff, to do it the way we now know it should have been done. Sometimes we feel like we have walked through the very shadow of the valley of death only to realize that Christ’s faithfulness was proven more true there than anywhere.
But the good thing about being at the end of something means, if we’re going to move forward, the end is the place that something new must begin!
So here we begin again… A new decade.
In this new decade, may we resolve to let the past be the past. If we are carrying a grudge against someone, maybe it’s time to lay it aside and make our burdens a little lighter. If someone has hurt us, by holding on to the pain, we allow that wound to continue to gape open. Wouldn’t it feel good if we could allow the Great Physician to take us into his operating room and sew up those injuries that remind us of the pain every day? If we have made some really bad decisions, let today be the day we intentionally begin making good ones. If we have damaged relationships, may we find the strength to amend those. It’s nice if communication goes both ways - but sometimes it may take someone who is willing to initiate only one way communication to break the ice in repairing that damage.
On the positive side of things - think long and hard about the person you want God to make of you in this next decade.
I believe He will go out of His way to make us more like Himself if we would desire Him.
He will give us strength that is stronger than we can be on our own. What if 10 years from now we look back and discover this was the time period that God came through for the prayers that we sought an answer about for years! Be intentional in your petitions before God. He desires to hear from us and more than that, He desires to answer the prayers of His children!
I love the promise of Isaiah 43:18-19. “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
So what is it that God could do or make new for you over this next decade?
Take advantage of the new beginning that God has given to each of us in this new span of time.
May we dive in with both feet and make it count for the Kingdom of God.