A New Thing

January 21, 2019

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

    If I'm honest, as I am writing this, I would much rather be playing a video game my oldest son introduced me to. It's one of those games that doesn't ever really end. My character is only level 16, and from what I've seen there must be at least 100 levels, maybe more. Long way to go.  

    So I force myself to write something spiritual while I am quite infatuated with a worldly thing (which has helped me to bond with my son a lot lately, to be fair). Maybe I talk about how you never really die in the game, you just get defeated and re-spawn somewhere, and how this is like God's mercies being new every morning. But that's a bit impersonal and academic. Probably instead I should talk about how after a day (frequently lately) where I feel like I've given far too much brain-space to this game, I can wake up with a clean slate and a new beginning, another chance to let my mind be conformed a little more to the image of Christ. Or maybe I share how it has provided a new opportunity for me to undo some of the damage I've done in my relationship with my son, and how God is even more committed than I am to me having a healthy relationship with him, and how He keeps giving more chances to mend things. 

    And then there is the way the game opens up a new world for your character to explore pretty much at the exact right time your character is ready, and how this isn't very different from how God opens up a new thing just when we're ready. But really what that means for me, is that when God has thrust me into new experiences I didn't feel ready for—whether trials I didn't think I could handle or new levels of responsibility I didn't feel I quite deserved—He's been faithful to equip me for what's in store.

    So God is always up to something new, usually in surprising ways, and often in spite of our own silliness. Praise be to him who makes a way for something new in the wilderness of our inimitable distractibility, and who grants new mercy each day, even when it takes quite a few days of thinking about making a change before I actually make it.

 

Warmly in Christ,

Fred Swartz

 

For Reflection:

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
(Isaiah 43:18-19, ESV)  

  1. In what surprising area of your life is God doing something new?

  2. How has God's work in, through, and around you helped you forget the former things?

  3. Why is the new thing God is doing often difficult to perceive?

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