“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” – Isaiah 43:18-19a
I love the thought of a new year. It’s a fresh start. A clean slate. A new beginning.
When I think back on 2010, I have many reasons to be thankful. God has been good. Of course, He’s always good, but this past year, the Lord has been over-the-top generous to me. I am indeed blessed beyond measure.
However, over the past 12 months, I’ve also experienced challenges, disappointments, and countless failures. Outbursts of anger. Idolatry. Stubbornness and rebellion. Times when I maligned the Lord’s name with my poor attitude and selfishness. Moments I’d rather forget.
This morning the Lord reminded me of his command in Isaiah 43:18-19a: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” God doesn’t want us to wallow in self-loathing or regret. His desire isn’t that we guilt ourselves to the point of living in shame over things we have done. No, once we’ve confessed our sin to him, we are to forget about it.
At the same time, the Lord also wants us to remember. Remember the lessons learned through struggles we’ve experienced. Remember God’s faithfulness to us, even when we’ve been unfaithful. Remember the wonders He has done in our lives. Remember the fact that we serve a living God who takes the shattered pieces of our lives and fashions them into something beautiful.
As you begin this New Year, focus your thoughts on the days to come. Don’t get bogged down in what’s behind. Leave the past in the past, and direct your energy toward what God is doing in 2011. He is doing a new thing!