I won’t make it to midnight….
without a nap….
from about 9:30 p.m. to 11:59 when Tom will wake me up to see the ball drop.
New Years Eve. It’s just not my favorite. I love the idea of it because I love a good party. I love the gathering of friends and family. I love the snacks and drinks. I love it all… I just need it to end around 8:30 p.m. Can I get an Amen?
Despite my inability or desire to actually ring in the New Year there is something I enjoy about the next two days. I find the built in opportunity to look back on what I learned in the prior year and plan for the next to be not only enjoyable but important. A couple of years ago my daughters and I used the earlier hours of New Years eve to create dream boards for the next year. We cut pictures out of magazines and glued them to a piece of card stock. The symbols and words we discovered were a reflection of what we were committed to working towards in the new year.
This year I’ve decided to make two lists and this is where I invite you in to a little New Years Eve homework assignment. I’ve actually done a bit of the work for you but the best results will come when you take some moments to reflect on the following words I’ll share. And to be clear – these instructions are not from me – but our God who promises to give all wisdom in all situations – including the next year of life he will bring to each of us.
If you followed my blog during Lent 2020 you know that each Sunday I provided one verse in several different translations. I encouraged you to read through each one, possibly even write them out on paper so as to slow your mind down for deeper reflection. This is what I will do for you today. As I look back on 2020 and plan for 2021 – I’m using this verse to understand two things – that will grow my two lists.
- What has God done and will do?
- What is my responsibility?
It’s when these two lists start to mingle that I start to feel overwhelmed. When I start to think I’m God of the Universe things get messy. So here you go…. Isaiah 43:16,18-19 in several translations. As you read through the words make your own lists. The God List and the YOU list. I believe that this is the most important place to start when making any sort of New Years Resolution or Goal Poster. If our direction doesn’t start with God , it is likely it may not be the best idea. We all learned from 2020 that our best laid plans can all fall to pieces with one phone call, one diagnosis, one crazy virus that sneaks into our country. May this time of reflection move us to a place of HOPE in our God that will never change even when everything about us does. Grab a pen, journal, scratch paper…. lets get to list making.
Isaiah 43:16,18-19. NIV
This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea- a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past. 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.
Isaiah 43:16,18-19 AMP
This is what the Lord says, He who makes a way through the sea, and a path through the mighty waters, Do Not Remember the former things or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing. NOW it will spring forth , will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43: 16, 18-19 ERV
The Lord is making roads through the sea. He is making a path for his people, even through rough waters. So don’t remember what happened in earlier times. Don’t think about what happened a long time ago because I am doing something new! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I will even make a road in the desert and rivers will flow through that dry land.
Isaiah 43:16,18-19 GW
The Lord makes a path through the sea and a road through the strong currents. Forget what happened in the past and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19. TLB
I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a path right through the sea. But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do! For I’m going to do a brand new thing. See I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for my people to go home and create rivers for them in the desert!
Isaiah 43:16,18-19 The Message
This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, 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.
See you back here tomorrow… with your lists. God’s word can give us such clear direction and peace…
And for this… I rejoice.