Author, Ann Marie Collins
Author, Ann Marie Collins

With 2017 fast approaching I pulled out my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (kicking it old school) to see how many times the word ‘new’ is used in the King James Bible in reference to God’s interaction with humankind, and it was a lot! I stopped counting at 60+.

He is continually “making new” or “doing a new thing” and something deep inside me responds to that truth with excitement, and ever-renewing hope because of the extraordinary power and creativity of my God to deliver, heal, redeem and restore; to make all things new again and again!

It is a rare thing indeed for me to even be awake when the New Year arrives, though I do appreciate the symbolism, but the Lord knows I need ‘do-overs’, and ‘newness’ way more than just once a year.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’” Lamentations 3:21-24

One of my friends posted this message on Facebook:

“Our hope is not in the new year…but in the One who makes all things new.”

My hope for 2017 and beyond is in the One who gave me new life; who amplifies my joys daily, redeeming the times of hurt, loss, and failure, guiding me safely through it all so I don’t self-destruct, and teaches me to use the lessons learned to inform my present, and serve my future.

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth.  Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert…  Because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen.  This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.” Isaiah 43:19-21

I do have some strong ‘desires’ for the coming year; to get a ‘newer’ car before this one falls to pieces around me, finally landscape the back yard, make great memories with my youngest who gets married in June, and go home to Jamaica at Christmas for the first time in 20+ years.

However, years of experience following Jesus has taught me to hold even good plans very loosely in my heart and mind because,

“ ‘…my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.  ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

My REAL plan is to navigate this new year like a Jamaican in a crowd where they’re handing out free food; eyes fixed on Jesus, hanging on with a vise grip to the One who leads me, clearing my path and making a way even where there seems to be no way.

No anxiety. No fear… just living the thing.

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