Yancey County Hospice
“A New Beginning”
By Jacob Willis
If I knew back then what I know now, then life would be different. I don’t know how many times I have heard this said. It could refer to missed opportunities, missed fortunes, missed relationships, missed education, or missed spiritual blessings. The statement refers to buyer’s remorse. A friend of mine in High School bought his first new truck, a Chevrolet. It was shiny and new with all the bells and whistles. He drove the vehicle for about a month and then it began to leak, and then it began to pour water down the seat belt into his lap. The dealership tried repeatedly to fix it, but could never find where the leak was coming from. Chevrolet wouldn’t stand behind the vehicle, so he sued them under the lemon law. He had some buyer’s remorse for sure. Sometimes we can feel that way about our lives. We can feel that we went after the thing that glittered and shone, only to find out it was a lemon to us. New Years is about new beginnings. It is a time when we take inventory of what is behind, and look with great expectation to what is ahead.
Looking at what is behind can be uplifting, or it can be discouraging. It is probably a little bit of both. Even more distressing is the expectations that society puts on us for success. Due to social media and other outlets, it can seem that our every move is scrutinized. The added pressure can lead to depression, suicide, addiction, or other serious mental health issues. It may seem that you have done many things right this past year, but the few mistakes you have made outweigh all the good you’ve done. Viewing life this way leads to slippery slopes and destructive behavior patterns. God has a much different way to view life. Jesus said, “Come to me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus gives rest from weighty expectations, unrealistic views of ourselves, and others’ opinions. Jesus forgives us of our sins and forgets our sins, Hebrews 8:12. If he can forgive and forget, so we should forgive ourselves. Paul sums it up like this in Philippians 3:13, “forgetting what is behind us, and pressing on to what is ahead for us.” If it is behind us God has forgiven us, so move forward. As we begin a New Year, what is it that you need to forgive and forget so that you can move on? Maybe you need to forgive yourself, maybe you need to forgive someone else, or maybe you just need to forget it? Whatever it is that God is calling you to do, you can’t do it with a weight tied around your neck. Don’t buy the lemon of unforgiveness, buy the message of the grace and mercy of God, and live in 2018!
Also, we need to look ahead. We need to ask God to create in us His supreme desires. It is really important to understand that a New Beginning starts with a heart transplant. Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a new thing now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”. Many of us celebrate Christmas and Easter, two symbols of God’s ability to do the impossible, but attempt to live life as if God can’t or is unwilling to do the miraculous in our own lives. God is willing and able to bring about change of heart and mind in the New Year. God wants you to forget all that stuff that is behind, and believe in all the good he has for you in the future. Your past is forgiven, your present is secure, and your future is bright, when you choose to follow Jesus. When we put our faith in the promises of Almighty God, then we can be sure He is going to respond with a miracle. He specializes in taking the mundane and ordinary, and turning them into miraculous Spirit Beings. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should have everlasting life.” When you ask Christ to come into your heart and life through the power of the Spirit, he makes you a New Creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” The New Year is about a new opportunity to be transformed by the power of God, to forget those mistakes and sins, and to move, by faith, in the direction God has for your life. When you confess your sins; “Lord Jesus, I have sinned against you, I have done wrong”; when you repent of your sins; “Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be this way anymore”; and when you ask him to save you, “Lord Jesus, forgive me and save me”, you become a child of the living God. When you become a child of God, you trade in all the lemons for what is real and substantial. May God bless, and Happy New Year.