Embracing God’s New Gift to You
Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Next to Christmas, my favorite time of year is the Fall season. Striking colors of gold, orange, amber, and yellow strewn around trees, and the cool crisp air are some of the things that make me fall in love with this season. I love to sit on my front porch and admire the beauty of God’s creation while sipping on a warm cup of apple cider. It is also the time when we set aside a month to be intentionally thankful to God for His goodness to us. But what’s more remarkable about Fall or Autumn is that it is symbolic of something significant to me: The old giving way to the new.
In the Fall, most trees shed their leaves. Then there’s winter when the branches are bare and the trees wait patiently. Next, Spring comes along with new leaves, new life, and new fruit through the summer! The shedding and budding of leaves are part of the life cycle that must happen every year for those trees to survive. This cycle reminds me of the need to let go of the past and embrace God’s new gift.
Holding on to past pain and guilt cripples us from attaining the life God wants us to have. It steals our joy, peace, health and ability to be a blessing to others. But, when we let go and trust God to do something beautiful in our lives, we experience such freedom in Him that allows us to appreciate His blessings daily. God never fails. He does make all things “work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). He blesses us in good ways when we trust and obey Him (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
As we approach the New Year, may we resolve to let go of the past and anticipate God’s precious gifts. Some events are harder to forget than others. For instance, the unexpected passing of a loved one, abuse in any form, an unfair situation or chronic illness that caused great loss. While we cannot erase the memory of a departed loved one, we can trust God to fill the void that has been created. We cannot undo the abuse and injustice done to us, but God is able to soothe our wounds, and He is faithful to heal our hurts. He can restore our peace and joy.
Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
Oh how precious it is to spend time with our Heavenly Father! Through prayer and active listening, we can grow in His grace. I have discovered that with the busyness of my days, the best thing to do is to sit still in God’s presence with an open Bible and listen for His voice. Our time with God cannot be replaced with anything else, no matter how precious or valuable. It refreshes us when we are weary and beaten down by life’s pressures. It causes our perspective to be aligned with God’s Word. We view our trials in a positive light when we stay connected to Jesus. He may lead us to seek support through Biblical counseling or from other believers who have walked the same road with us. Whatever the case, our intimacy with God is crucial to our healing. Only God can bring us from a place of brokenness to wholeness.
What is it you need to overcome, dear friend? A painful experience? A sin in your life that you have confessed and repented from but you just can’t seem to forgive yourself? Know that God is all-powerful and all-loving. His loving-kindness lasts forever. He says: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). Be encouraged to hand over the guilt and pain to Him. Then wait patiently for Him to act (Psalm 37:7). A new day is coming soon. Spring time is on the way.
Idong gave her life to Jesus when she was 16 years old. Since that day, she realized that God had a plan for her and that her life was no accident. With that realization, she is determined to use whatever gifts and talents God has given her to glorify Him and encourage others who may be losing hope. She lives in Stone Mountain, GA with Bennett, her husband of 15 years, and their three sons. Bennett and Idong serve as North American Mission Board missionaries in Clarkston, GA; reaching the refugee community with the Good News of hope and salvation in Jesus Christ. Idong enjoys caring for her family. In her spare time, she loves to keep up with friends on social media, read and listen to music. She also enjoys treating herself to a good meal whenever she can.