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.
Many will carry the beauty of 2022 and all the goodness it has brought right into 2023. Those days of blessing and favor have prompted excitement and enthusiasm for a new year. Give thanks.
But there are others out there who are counting the minutes down to a quick end that can’t seem to come fast enough. The pain filled months of 2022 have a sting so great they never want to look back. For them, the light at the end of the tunnel is midnight, when we cross over into a brand new year.
But the years we leave often seem to stay with us. We cannot escape from our rear mirror view. We see it all. We become products of the months and years we’ve lived, whether good or bad. They shape us into people we may love or people we distain.
Life can hit us hard, so hard we struggle to move forward and even find the strength to continue. Each day, week, month and year carry with it the unknown. What is out there, we often can’t imagine.
But here’s the thing, good or bad, we can’t dwell in those places. I get it, sometimes the pain of circumstance and the suffering that comes with this life leave people incapable of moving forward. We find ourselves shutting down and shutting off and getting comfortable in the agony of days gone by.
And let’s be real, we can’t just simply forget all the hurt, hard times and struggles we’ve endured. Wounds are raw and scars are deep. But we just can’t stay there.
Isaiah tells us to forget the former things. Don’t dwell in yesterday. When we take up residence in our past, we become a prisoner. We are chained to days that have afflicted us in the most painful and damaging ways.
Isaiah goes on to say that God is doing something new! The deserts we’ve experienced were never meant to be our homes. He tells us He is making streams in the wasteland and a way in the wilderness. But we can’t perceive it or see it when we are fixated on the former things. Our tomorrows can’t be stifled by our yesterdays.
Helen Keller once said, “Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” Friend, 2023 is an open door. With everything you have draw upon Jesus Christ to help you let go of the former things and with great expectation, begin looking for the freshness of springs in the wasteland.
As you let go of 2022, allow Jesus to raise you out of the mire. He died so you wouldn’t have to stay there. We have a very limited scope of what lies ahead. And sharp turns often come upon us suddenly. But Jesus Christ wants to be at the helm of your wheel as you embrace 2023.
With gratitude and thanksgiving, reflection and melancholy, say goodbye to 2022. It’s time to welcome a new year.
Happy New Year family and friends!