I use a devotional book based on the liturgical year, and the theme for the week after Christmas is “All Things New.”
I’ve been looking at those words for several days now, and if I’m honest, I have to admit there are situations in my life and in the lives of those around me that make me wonder if God really does make all things new. Because sometimes, the transformation is so incremental and the process seems to take so long--it feels like an eternity.
In addition, those times when I'm sure I hear God whisper to me that he wants to make all things new, I can be clinging to all things old. I mean nails dug in, squeezing tight unwilling to release whatever it is in my clutches.
Here’s a practical application of that point. The Bible I’ve read for several years is so worn that from Genesis to Psalm 128, the pages are loose from the backing. If I’m not careful, the Pentateuch, the historical writings, and part of the poetic works can scatter when I lay the Bible down. The other problem is the pages are so worn on the corners, they rip when I turn them. Even if I glue the pages back in, the spine is broken, and the pages are too brittle.
I don’t want to give this Bible up, just as I didn’t want to give up the one that preceded it. But, Jerry wanted to give me a new Bible for Christmas, and I think God wanted to as well.
I’m clutching. There’s the verse marked in Isaiah 40 for a family member, and the date in Philippians 3 when my mother died, and the verses God highlighted for me in Joshua when I had cancer, and on and on. It feels comfortable and familiar—a balm when days seem strange. But, those highlighted areas can sometimes alter my ability to see the new thing God is saying.
And I have to check myself on this—do I carry this old Bible as evidence of my knowledge of the scripture to others instead of the scripture’s evidence in my life. Do I? Am I letting nasty spiritual pride slip in?
I sure hope not.
In any event, I’m turning over a new leaf—literally. It’s time.
I also hope that in other areas, in which I’m still holding on, that I can release them to the Lord. I can veneer, and spray paint, and sand on a situation making it appear a bit better on the outside, but God is the only one who can make things new from the inside out. I pray God increases my faith to believe him for this even when circumstances scream something else.
Join me in carrying these words in your heart from Revelation 21: 5 into the New Year—“He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!”