Happy New Year to all of you! But is it, really that new?
Most of us return to the same routines and responsibilities we left in the old year. Is that why against everybody’s best advice, we can put together stellar goals for the New Year that we can’t possible reach?
But what if “new” isn’t a one-time honor. What if “new” in our New Year is more about an opportunity to make progress in God’s goals for us? What if new waits buried inside the same old rhythms? What if God could edit them in ways that infuse His new in them?
After all, new is something God does all the time. New is God’s best gift for all of us in 2023, but it doesn’t necessarily come within the words of a new goal. God gives something intrinsically new that we can’t make on our own. He knows what we need and sees all the tricks we use to sugarcoat our true need. We play games with diets when what we need is to feel loved. We dance around excesses when what we need is a simple two-way relationship between us and the One who made us. Nothing we buy, reduce, organize or produce by any goal compares to what God’s new can do in us.
We all need help here. That's why I want to share three questions to help you discover where God’s new might be waiting for you. I’ve used these questions in different forms for monthly, quarterly, as well as yearly reviews for my work as well as spiritual growth. They keep me grounded in the things that matter. When I make time for understanding the answers to these questions, I find God inhabits the answers. It’s not about my analysis. It requires finding God’s big Yes to them. It's where I realize I don't do anything in this life alone. God wants to do life with me and in me!
God takes joy in my desire to find His new. I almost see God giddy, like the way I was on Christmas morning when I couldn’t wait for Mark to open my gift. I knew it would be a surprise. He fell in love with the Moravian star we saw all over and for sale in the German Christmas markets. We didn't know they would not be in the last market we visited and left Germany without it. But I found it online after returning home. The quiet surprise his face registered when he opened it was my best gift, too!
That’s the way I see God. He is so excited to give us what we aren't expecting. The gift always meets the right need. New energy. New perspective. New opportunity. New direction. New relationship. When God’s new invades our old routines and daily rhythms, we understand in a fresh way how His mercies are new every morning.
So here’s to finding God’s new in all the old and unexpected places!
Happy 2023! May it be the year of discovering God’s new for you especially when it starts with something old.