“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 43:19)
With every new year that arrives, there is the promise of a new beginning, a chance to start over. But as the calendar flips from December 31 to January 1, does anything really change? We have the same problems we had yesterday—the same challenges, hopes, and desires. Likewise, in an election year, we hear promises of national transformation, a new day for our country—but no political party has the power to bring true and lasting shalom.
The only one who can actually make things new is God Himself. He is the God who never changes, and He is Creator. That means He is in the business of making things new. But God is not like a child who abandons his sand castle to build a new one down the beach. Instead, God is the God of renewal and rebirth, breathing life into death, and restoring what has been destroyed.
This is our hope: Although we are broken, God is not done with us. He is making us new. And just as He is doing with us, He has the same renovation plan for all creation. That’s why Isaiah can write about raging rivers reclaiming the desert floor and well-marked paths sprouting up in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:19). There is nothing so lost that it is beyond God’s reach.
The end of the story has already been written: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:5). On that day, all of the other “new beginnings” we have known will fade into our memories, for they were only a shadow of the New Day our souls had longed for.