A New Year

            first-day-of-school kid first-day-of-school teens“Look, I am making everything new!” God said in His revelation to the Apostle John. It is an end-of-the-world reference with implications for now. God is waiting for us to let go of those things in our life that bring death. When we are willing, He is willing to transform them, make them new, now.

It is a new school year. There are new teachers, new students, new schools to new residents, and new challenges. Where do you feel challenged to a fresh start? What dark places need a little light?

Parts of life can become so bad, so diseased they die. Hope is not impossible. “God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead”. If people have to be made alive before they can believe (and God did that together with Christ), there is no “part” of life He cannot breathe new life into.

You may be new to the community or going to a new school. Meeting people and making friends is not always easy. A smile pasted on the face wears thin quickly leaving the heart in a desert place. Loneliness gains a companion called hopelessness when months turn into years and friendships prove elusive.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, rising cholesterol levels, insomnia, tiredness, and being overweight contribute to a sense of futility. Futility easily morphs into a lack of self-esteem. “I can’t do better. I don’t have the will power. No matter what I do, I fail.” These are not uncommon thoughts.

Perhaps at the beginning of this new school year what is lacking is not just a higher power, but Jesus power. He said, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Rest is found in not going it alone, but inviting Jesus not to join you on the journey, but to lead and carry the load.

The nine months ahead can be a repeat of the ninety years behind. Or, it can be the beginning of a new year, a new you. The solution that eludes so many is not to try harder, but to try less and let God do more. Invite the light of the Holy Spirit into each and every dark time and place encountered. He will light the way, warm the atmosphere, and supply the wood. His call for involvement in your life is answered by those who may have refused you.

This is just the beginning. With your cooperation, God will make the next several months a dream come true. A new year beckons. Begin a new year with Jesus.

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