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.
Mr. Matthew Pannkuk-Chaplain, Middle School Bible Teacher
“Say it’s true, it’s true
That we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one
I, I will begin again
I, I will begin again”
-from the U2 song New Year’s Day
New things bring mostly two responses. One is anxiety. We fear the unfamiliar. In psychology they call this homeostasis. Humans crave for things to stay regular, predictable, controllable. Even if the situation is pretty terrible and awful, we feel safer in the familiar pain than in the unfamiliar healing. This is why people seem to not be able to leave destructive relationships, and why it’s so very hard to break bad habits.
Beyond the dread of the unknown, we simply don’t like to start over. We don’t like to begin again. We don’t like thinking that all that we have done is undone, and we have to go back to square one.
The other response to new things is one of the greatest but scariest feelings possible: hope.
Hope is frightening because we aren’t certain things will turn out how we want. We are afraid it won’t come true, that our hopes were raised only to fall that much harder when dashed upon the ground.
However, to the Christian, hope never needs to bring worry. “..hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Our hope will never fall to the ground. It indeed will happen.
Do you perceive it? Can you feel what the LORD is doing? This New Year’s Day, can you sense the new thing that our God is bringing about?
Maybe 2017 was filled with wilderness and desert for you. Illness, poverty, death; strife, conflict, pain; hurt, sadness, devastation, uncertainty. No rivers to be found, no way out in sight; it seemed that hope was in vain.
But behold! There is a way in the wilderness! There is a river in the desert of our souls! Jesus Christ, the living water. He offers us to come and drink without price. The river of life is ours for the taking, because the LORD has removed all barriers and nailed them to the cross.
We are broken, we are torn apart. This world has been rent asunder. Take heart! Because it is true, it is indeed true, that what was torn in two can indeed be one again. What has been broken can and will certainly be made whole.
So whether this New Year brings you anxiety or it brings you hope, know that to begin again is never a fruitless endeavor for those in Christ Jesus. Hope placed in the gospel of good news from our good God will not disappoint.
Have a very happy New Year, and let us look forward to a blessed 2018 together.
Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church