Skip to main content

Anew is not Again

New starts - what exactly are they?  In everyone's life, there come opportunities to "begin again", "make a fresh start", or have a "do-over".  The thing about each of these is the "carry-over" from the old into the new.  Let me explain what I mean.  Take a tablet or pad of paper and a pencil or pen.  Now write these words: "I just failed".  Go ahead - do it.  Now, tear off that sheet of paper and throw it away.  What you are left with is a "clean" tablet of paper - right? Not really! Gently run your fingers over the surface of that table of paper and then hold it up to the light at an angle.  See or feel it?  Yep, there is a tell-tale sign of the old message you wrote there, isn't there?  As much as we thought we go rid of the old, we still had some indication of it being there.  It isn't much different from that every time we go to make a fresh start, begin again, or attempt a do-over in life!  We have those tell-tale signs of the old which act as reminders to us of the whole reason we are "beginning again" in the first place.

The Lord’s love [loyalty] never ends; his mercies [compassion] never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty [faithfulness] is great [abundant]. (Lamentations 3:22-23 EXB)

You may know this verse from the good old King James: It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  Either way, the message is the same - we can count on God's mercy to be new every morning.  His compassion never stops.  His love never ends.  I think to understand this we also need to consider in light of one other verse:  And he has taken our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west.  (Psalm 103:12 ERV)  God's mercies are new because he doesn't just tear off the sheet which contain the list of our sins or shortcomings, but he actually gives us a new tablet of paper upon which we may right our life's story anew!

That might be tough for each of us to fully grasp, but when we finally do, it is a life altering experience!  The way we see things is through the eyes of "beginning again".  The way God sees things in our lives is through the eyes of "beginning anew" - in a new form or a new manner.  In other words, we don't do it in our power, but in the power and grace he provides.  We don't pick up the same tablet of paper and try to rewrite the story - he gives us the new tablet and helps us begin to pen the words which reflect the beauty and liberty of his grace in our lives.  In our common day language, again and anew are used interchangeably.  In God's way of doing things, again means we pick up the pieces - anew means he does it!

A pastor friend of mine can frequently be heard saying, "As long as we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always gotten".  Now, I know that may not be good grammar, but the point is poignant.  "Starting again" is like doing what we have always done, but with maybe this little "alteration" in how we will approach the problem.  "Starting anew" is doing it completely in a different manner - because we want a different outcome!  We don't want repeats - we want an entirely new result.  There is a contemporary Christian song which has the words, "It's day one of the rest of your life..."  The idea is that of beginning anew.  Renewed mercies each time we fail.  Not just "refilled" mercies, but renewed mercies.  They are new - because we need new starts.

Again suggests it is the same person or place.  If we have written something upon the tablet we may not think of as "good" or "right", and then attempt to "rewrite" the outcome in exactly the same "place" or by the same "efforts" of the person who managed to write the "wrong" outcome in the first place, then we will likely see the messages from the past "bleeding through" on the pages of our lives!  If we understand what God says about how he forgives and removes our sins (shortcomings, failures, negative outcomes), then we understand he isn't asking us to have the same "person" start again.  He is giving us the ability to start anew because his mercies bring the life of his Son alive in us and it is by his power we begin "anew".  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow