January 17, 2022
The God Who Helps Us Begin Again
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"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
I had a specific plan for my Wednesday afternoon.
Pick up my kids from school. Take one child to basketball practice. Drop off the other child at a friend's house. Get gas, pick up the kids and go home.
My margin was small. I had very little time to squeeze anything additional into my day ... and then the unexpected happened.
I had a car accident!
So many factors influenced my emotions at that moment. The accident was my fault. It came at a difficult financial time for my family. I still needed gas. The clock was ticking. This was not supposed to be a part of my Wednesday.
This unplanned mishap caused all of my most recent blunders to resurface in my mind and join forces against me. Soon, I found myself spiraling into a deep well of discouragement. This was another thing I did not have time for.
After the truck I slid into drove off, I went to a grocery store parking lot, rested my head on my steering wheel and sobbed. It was simultaneously a cry for mercy - in what felt like a long season of difficulty - and a cry for help.
Everything in me felt stuck, reliving the moment just before the accident. Thoughts that did not change my circumstance swirled around my brain. If I had just slowed down in the intersection, I could have avoided this catastrophe. This is a complete disaster. I wish it hadn't happened.
None of these thoughts were productive, nor were they capable of changing the reality of my accident.
Sometimes life makes us feel stuck or too messed up to begin again.
Broken relationships appear irreparable.
Life's failures seem insurmountable.
Unexpected mistakes feel overwhelming.
When we find ourselves in this place, we can remind ourselves of the truth found in God's Word: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Here in 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul reminds us we don't have to be stuck in our mistakes - because we have been made new in Christ Jesus. Originally, he was writing to the new Christians in Corinth. These Corinthians, who became Christians because of Paul's message, struggled with true freedom in Christ because of the powerful secular and pagan influences in Corinth.
Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians, just as he reminds us today, that when we place our hope in Jesus Christ we are made new. Everything about us is made new, including our perspective. Our relationship with Christ will not enable us to change our past, but it will make our future new in Him. Whereas we may have previously felt tethered to our mistakes, God says, I will give you a new lens with which to view your life.
Christ says mistakes in your life do not define you; He does. Though you may have failures in your past, there is hope in your future. You can start over. Whether it is a relationship, a bad habit or a terrible mistake - no matter what it is, you can begin again.
This was true for me on that Wednesday afternoon, and it is true for you today. I dried my eyes, pulled out of the parking lot, got gas, picked up my kids and went home.
My day did not go the way I planned it, but God already knew it wouldn't. He had a perfect plan that encompassed the imperfect events of my life. He has done the same for you, too.
We do not have to be stuck in the mistakes of our past; we can begin again and embrace the hope of our future.
Dear God, thank You for the promise of making all things new for those who are in Christ Jesus. Help me to believe it. When I am tempted to get stuck or discouraged, remind me of how You make all things new in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we want to share some resources from our bookstore that highlight the beauty of diversity in God's Kingdom! Check out Soul Care in African American Practice by Barbara L. Peacock, and for the little ones in your life, check out Creative God, Colorful Us and God's Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell.
Proverbs 31 Ministries is committed to multi-ethnic reconciliation. To read more about our heart for Christlike kindness, compassion and action - and for a list of resources on this topic - check out our "Multi-Ethnic Reconciliation" page in our Resource Library here!
Join Kia on her YouTube channel as she delves deeper into the topic of "The God Who Helps Us Begin Again."
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Isaiah 43:18-19, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on 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." (NIV)
Where in your life is God leading you to begin again? Share your responses in the comments.
© 2022 by Kia Stephens. All rights reserved.