Looking out my window I’m pondering “new things”. I recently had coffee with a Pastor friend just to catch up on life. Summer brings with it busy schedules of vacation, travel and family enjoyment. All too often, summer means a time of disconnect from people we usually see on a regular basis. So, it’s always nice to hit the fall, and catch up with people we just like to hang out with. Chatting over coffee, my friend made an observation saying, “You’re certainly in a different place than you were last year at this time.” I had to admit he was right.
One year ago, while I won’t say I was unhappy, I certainly had a sense that something was changing. Actually, I’d been sensing a change was on the horizon for about a year to a year and a half before it actually happened. While I was plugging along and working, there was just a sense of unsettledness. Something new was coming. What was the “new thing”? I really couldn’t say. But it was important to stay alert and aware of what was going on. Then, when the change did come, I was neither shocked, nor upset. I was ready to enter into the next season of this journey we call life.
Now as I sit looking out my window thinking about the fact that yet another month has gone by and we are closer to 2018, I’m once again sensing “new things”. A couple weeks ago I wrote about the Jewish New Year of 5778 signifying new beginnings. We are entering a time when new doors of possibilities are opening for many people. Isaiah 43:19 says, “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”.
I’ve been around church long enough to have heard that Scripture more than once. As a matter of fact, I’ve been around long enough to have heard that Scripture declared many times. I’ve actually heard that passage quoted so often that many people respond saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Been there, done that. Heard it all before and still have the t-shirt. Nothing ever happens. Nothing new springs up! It’s just a bunch of church hype.” Many people have lost hope that anything will ever change. If you watch enough news, you will quickly conclude nothing is changing. If anything, things around us are getting worse! But, I believe this year is different. Something “new will spring up” and suddenly, where there’s been lost hope, hope will suddenly be restored.
Aside from Isaiah, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the book of Ezekiel. Here’s a book that can be rather confusing. However, tucked inside the chapters are some gems of hope. In Ezekiel 37 people are lamenting their state saying, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone. We are cut off” (Ezekiel 37:11). The nation of Israel was in the midst of exile and found themselves far away from home, forced to live in Babylon. Their hope was gone. Right after saying their hope was gone, a word of encouragement came declaring “they will return home” and their “hope will be restored”.
Do you find yourself searching for hope? Do you find yourself saying something similar to the nation of Israel in Ezekiel? Do you feel like your “bones are dried up and all hope is gone”? The good news is, we are entering a time of restored hope. Yes, it’s been said before, but it is worth saying again, “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up! Do you not perceive it?” If you’re having a hard time seeing – or perceiving – the hope that is springing up, I want to encourage you to hold fast and hold tight. Your “hope deferred” is about to receive new life!
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.