"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17
Rae's Thought: Every year, I have a theme or word to focus on for that specific year. 2011 was all about change; 2012 was all about living outside my comfort zone. So, I wondered what would 2013's theme be? After prayer, consideration, and confirmation, the word that came to mind was "new." "New what?" I asked God. His answer? "New mercies. New grace. New adventures. New relationships. New chances. New assignments. New."
Well alright then. "New" it is.
As soon as God gave me a theme, He gave me 2 Corinthians 5:17, more specifically, the last part of the verse: the old has gone, the new has come.
2012 was an awesome year for me. I did things I only dreamed of doing, went to places I only dreamed of going, and met and befriended some wonderful people. I stepped out of my comfort zone and survived. 2012 also brought challenges that took a lot out of me. Looking back, there are things I would've done differently.
It's ok for me to reflect upon 2012; to remember the blessings as well as the challenges. Both the excitement and challenges of 2012 has helped mold me. But it's NOT ok for me to stay there. The old has gone (2012); the new has come (2013).
I'm so glad I serve a God of new-ness. I know "new-ness" isn't a word, but I'm practicing my creative license and making it one. Haha!
He doesn't leave me stuck with the old stuff. Once I became His, my old life passed away & I became a new creature. No longer am I the dirty sinner, doomed to spend eternity in hell. I am now a blood-washed believer, destined to spend eternity in heaven. Yes, I still sin. Yes, I still make mistakes. But, once I've asked for forgiveness, God casts those sins in the sea of forgetfulness, never to be seen or heard of again.
And what about His new mercies and grace? Do you know what God's grace and mercy are? His grace is giving to us that which we do not deserve. We don't deserve His love, but He gives it to us anyway. We don't deserve his forgiveness, but He gives it to us anyway. We don't deserve His blessings, but He gives it to us anyway. God's mercy is Him withholding that which we do deserve. Because of sin, we deserve to spend eternity in hell. But He gives us the chance to spend eternity with Him in heaven. This year, I'm bound to disappoint God at some time or other. That's a part of being human. But with every new day, comes God's new mercies and grace. And He's got enough to go around for all His children, 365 days.
2012, I didn't do all the things He'd asked me to do, I'm ashamed to admit. I'm not going to make excuses. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that I didn't do them. BUT, thank God this is the year of new chances. He's giving me more time to get things done. He's telling me to keep going. I'm disappointed you didn't do them last year, but I'm giving you another year to get it right. He's a God of second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc) chances. To me, this means He hasn't given up on me (even though sometimes, I want to give up on myself). Here's a new year, Rae. What are you going to do with what I gave you?
My God is good.
So, while I enjoyed 2012 and wish I could've done certain things differently, I choose not to dwell on the past. I plan to learn from it and move on. I'm excited about all that God has planned for me this year...the new adventures, relationships, assignments. I'm excited about experiencing God's new-ness.