18 Don’t remember the prior things;
don’t ponder ancient history.
19 Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
paths[a] in the wilderness.
– Isaiah 43: 18-19
It seems the older we get, the less open we are to change. As we age we find a way, a routine, that works for us, and as long as nothing, no one, or no circumstance messes that up, we’re good. Here’s the thing. While many things are similar day-to-day, nothing is ever the same. Life around us and in us is always changing. Deep down we know that. We feel it in our aching bones. Maybe that’s part of why we pine for the good ‘ole days and the way things were.
Here’s the dirty little secret. That’s past is always what was, and not what is, or what will be. No matter how great the past was, it’s not coming back. We need to know our history, remember it, and learn from it, but it’s never coming back. Unlike Jesus, that past can’t be resurrected.
Part #2 of that secret? That’s how God created the world to be. Always changing, always creating itself anew. Always changing, adapting, growing. It’s in the definition of what it means to be alive.
Case in point: I’m not the same dad today that I was to my children when they were babies or toddlers. Our relationship is alive and therefore always changing. When your cells in your body stop growing and changing, well, it means you’ve joined the Lord on the other side of death.
Here’s the beauty I find in it though. No two days are alike. It’s an adventure, a new leg of life’s journey each day. You never know what lies ahead on the next page in the story of your life.
In the Isaiah 43: 18-19, the Israelites are hoping for a return to the glory days. They wer great, then destroyed and sent into exile. Through Isaiah, the Lord explains, that our past is in the past, but also promises to be with us today in making the future. This is true hope – Not a return to the past, but God with us today and tomorrow and forever. God creates anew and God continues to love. That’s how God rolls.
Prayer: God you’ve been gracious to us in the past. Be with us today. The only thing that doesn’t change is Your love for us, and that is more than enough. Amen.