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“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

Unlike previous years, this New Year is filled with unknowns. We do not know when this pandemic is going to be brought under control. Many people are unsure about how they are going to bounce back from their many losses. Some do not even know how to grieve for their loved ones who died in 2020. Consequently, we are uncertain about how to move forward. Many people feel stuck between a past they want to forget and a present they are afraid to confront. Yet Most people thirst for a new beginning.

In our thirst for a new beginning, we should look to Isaiah 43:18-19. The passage gives us the courage to envision a new beginning without the coronavirus pestilence. It reminds us of the wonder-working power of Almighty God to bring forth life amid death, hope in hopelessness, and joy as we mourn our loved ones.

If God can make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, He can comfort the brokenhearted and bring forth joy to those who sow in tears. God will make a way for the poor through the wilderness of food insecurity and economic scarcity. He can cause a river of blessings to flow from heaven that will saturate the land and give us the audacity to hope for a better tomorrow.

Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Nor should we invest too much energy lamenting the losses of 2020. It is time to thirst for a new beginning. Indeed, we should thirst to hug our friends and loved ones yet again. It is okay to thirst for a time when we can go to the theater and the museum without masks, watch our favorite sports teams with thousands of other fans, and celebrate holidays with our loved ones without the fear we might be infecting them.

Believers should have a thirst to feed the hungry and help the helpless. It is through our loving-kindness that God will make a way in the wilderness for the needy. God will use our compassion and concern for others to flow His river of blessing in the parched land of the poor and downtrodden.

We can have a successful new beginning in 2021 despite COVID-19 if we hold on to God’s unchanging hand. It is God alone who can deliver us from the scourge of this pandemic. Our God will fight our battle against COVID-19 and give us peace. If we begin the year with the mind to please Him, we will overcome the afflictions of this pandemic.

I thirst of a new beginning for the Church of Jesus Christ; one where the doors of churches can yet be open to those who want to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In that new beginning, I pray for the Church to reevaluate its priorities and invest more in people than in buildings. This new beginning should be Holy Spirit led and spiritual fruit-bearing focused. It should be the beginning of a new chapter of a life surrendered to Christ and to His great commission.

We may be perplexed by COVID-19, but not in despair. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we can dare to dream of the return of normalcy in our society. Yes, there will be a return to graduations, Senior Proms, weddings, barbecues, and all other forms of social gatherings. Let us, therefore, remain hopeful and prayerful as we go into the New Year. With God on our side, all things will work together for our good in 2021.

Question for Person Reflection

What are you thirsting for in this New Year?

How can a relationship with God help satisfy your thirst for a new beginning?

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help us to focus on your promises as revealed in Isaiah 43:18-19, despite the anxiety of living during a pandemic. Please give us the courage to go into this New Year with the confidence that all things will work together for our good.

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