God Is Up To Something New! …Hello weekend readers. One more day and the calendar changes to 2024 and a new year begins. My musings are on ‘God, what comes next?’ We live in such a violent world these days, is there hope for peace and renewal? Our planet is groaning and everything on it groans as well. O Lord, will you do a ‘new thing’?

Christine Caine, Bible teacher, author, and with her husband, Nick, the founders of A21, an anti-human trafficking organization, shared a story about God’s plans and God’s gift of renewal on a family vacation. She writes:

When my family went on a Disney cruise some years ago, my youngest daughter, Sophia, declared it “the best vacation she’d ever had.” In fact, we had hardly stepped off the ship when she looked up at me and asked, “When’s the next cruise we are going on, Mummy?” For weeks she looked up other things we should go on, which included climbing mountains, whitewater rafting, and taking a boat ride on the Amazon River. Nick and I caught her enthusiasm and it was hard to tell her that all those things are wonderful but it takes a lot of money. She was not deterred one bit, so we joined her in watching vacation ideas on TV to social media blurbs. “O God, I prayed, how much enthusiasm can a kid have?” It was then I realized that I had lost my thirst for a ‘new thing’ that God wants to do in my life and my family’s life. I needed to become a child again!”

Don’t you just love the enthusiasm of a child? Ready for a ‘new thing’ over and over again. Their anticipation and joy are an elixir for our souls—as well as a powerful tidbit of wisdom we dearly need when the years take its toll on us. It’s no wonder Jesus reminded us that having a child-like faith is paramount in living this life.

The Prophet Isaiah said it best in Chapter 43:19-21 and I am using The Message Bible because the words just come alive and give us a taste of God’s joy in giving us new things!

“This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves. The God who summons horses and chariots and armies, they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? 

There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you! —the coyotes and the buzzards—because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sunbaked earth, drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.”

Like Isaiah, how often do we ask God similar questions? Often, when something good happens for us, we are happy and sadly, not always giving that “new thing” the recognition to God that it deserves because God made this happen, not us. Are we alert, are we ‘bursting out’ in what God is and can do?

Like Sophia, we ask for more and more of it, as if the stream will never end. And when it does end, we feel left out, even down-and-out. Is God done with me now? No, not ever. But we need to understand that the ‘new thing’ in God’s plan for us is different because God’s plan for what’s next isn’t about repackaging what He’s already done. As much as we would like to continue on ‘a good ride’ God has new ideas and plans for us because God has never stopped creating and giving us something new!

In this New Year 2024, take a “trip through your memories” and relive those amazing times of “God’s new things” for you. Incredible, right? And best of all, it NEVER ends unless you let it go. Like Isaiah said, “do you see it—do you perceive it?” If we are seeking something new, then we need to see, perceive and believe that what God wants for our lives will be the “something new” we’ve been waiting for, and in God something new is always good. So, don’t hesitate, grasp the awesome plans God has for you in this New Year, AMEN.