Reflect & Give Thanks
We love new things, don’t we? New homes, cars, furniture, friends, babies, GRANDbabies! This year I’m thankful for the newness in my life; a new town, church, ministry, and friends. Almost everything is new in my life. But newness is not always easy; in fact, it can be hard.
The same things that are exciting because they are new can also be difficult. New grocery stores with items in different places, new streets that curve every which way but north, south, east and west, new ministries with complex systems to learn, new friends but not enough time to get to hear all their God stories. These are new areas in my life that I love, but they are also hard. In the midst of all of this newness in my life, God is speaking loudly to me about the newness I have in Him.
As believers, especially in hard times, we can choose to focus on the “new” aspects of life in Jesus:
A New life in Him (Romans 6:4)
A New song in my mouth (Ps. 40:3)
A New self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24)
A New covenant written on my heart (Heb. 8:8)
A New creation – the old is GONE! (II Cor. 5:7)
A New heaven and earth waiting for me (Rev. 21:1)
The pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts, got it right. Almost everything in their lives was new and their response was to pause and thank God. William Bradford wrote in his journal, Of Plymouth Plantation, “What then, could now sustain [us] but the spirit of God and His grace? Let [us] therefore praise the Lord, because He is good, and His mercies endure forever. Let [us] confess before the Lord His loving kindness, and His wonderful works before the sons of men.” They had overcome new ways to farm, endured a new climate that had been so harsh, and made new friends who were so different than them. They muddled through that first long, hard winter and then they stopped and gave thanks. They had much to be thankful for in the physical ways God had cared for them, but at the heart of their thanks was an understanding of who God was and the knowledge of His saving work.
I want to imitate them and truly give thanks for the newness of my life this week. Though it hasn’t been easy, it’s been SO good. And though I tend to focus on the physical newness of my life (house, church, ministry, friends), I am most thankful that God has given me His Word to remind me of all the newness of life in Christ!
Just like the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving, I will pause this week and truly give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! What part of your life in Christ are you thankful for this week?