(By Rachel Joyce)
New Year’s Day holds out the hope of a new beginning, a fresh start. After all, sometimes we get tired of what is, weary of our struggles and mistakes, anxious for a change that will take hold this time so we can live with more triumph, more joy.
Isaiah offered this hope to the nation of Israel when he prophesied regarding the Messiah who would come. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19). The meaning of the Hebrew word he used for wasteland (yeshı̂ymôn) includes the idea of desolation, a desert, a solitary place (Strong’s).
Have you ever been there, in that desolate place where you feel so alone? Where you can’t seem to see a way forward and where the dryness around you threatens to seep into your own soul?
Listen to God’s words: “This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel…I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel's Creator, your King…See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:14-15, 19).
He did a new thing when He sent His dearly loved Son into the world to suffer and die for our sins so we could be born into God’s family. What an incredible new beginning it was! Once, we were enemies of God, weighed down by guilt and shame, but with His own blood, He cleansed us, took away our reproach, and made us His beloved children (Hebrews 9:12, Revelation 1:5, Galatians 3:26). Knowing our needs, He filled us with His Holy Spirit so we would have the power to live purely and righteously with love and grace (Ephesians 1:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).
What an amazing God we have! Even when we fail, He never gives up on us. He whispers, “You are loved. You are mine. I am in you and you are never alone. Because you have trusted in me, my living water flows in you, and I will always meet your needs (John 3:16, John 6:37, Hebrews 13:5, John 4:10-14, Philippians 4:19).
But He doesn’t force His blessings on us. He has so much to give us, but many times we miss out because we don’t take hold of them. Sometimes we don’t have what we need because we’re distracted or independent and don’t ask (James 4:2). Perhaps we’re too shattered or broken to even know what to ask for, but if we cry out to God, He is always there for us. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying for us, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us continually (Romans 8:26, 34).
It may be that God is allowing our lack to draw us closer to Himself, where we discover that He was what we needed all along. We experience Him as the One who grieves with us, comforts us, and fills us with His grace and love.
As we step into 2022, may it be with faith. Our God is with us and is making a way for us. He, our source of living water, will provide for our needs and will give us the strength to face whatever the future holds. He is faithful and He will never let us down.