Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!



"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!"

2 Corinthians 5:17



(Photo by Dawn Perry; see http://flickr.com/photos/dawn_perry/258243875/ for restrictions.)

2 comments:

Jamey said...

Sarah,
God showed me again through His graciousness His desire for me to be a new creature in Him (re post: How's Your Attitude? 12/27/09).

I picked up my daily reading/devotional book "My Utmost for His Highest" for my regular dose of Oswald Chambers.

Here is the December 31 entry...

"You shall not go out with haste,...for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard" Isaiah 52:12.

Security From Yesterday: "...God requires an account of what is past" (Ecc 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God's grace tends to be lessened by the memory of our yesterday's sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present."

Security for Tomorrow:"...the Lord will go before you..." This is a gracious revelation - that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our "rear guard." And God's hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today:..."You shall not go out with haste..." As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Isreal will go before us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.

Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

-------
The Lord has definately got my attention regarding my guilt and anxiety due to past sins. My earthly, sinner expectation is that He wourld like to thump me on the head BUT eveytime He gently taps me on the shoulder to get my attention it is to show me His graciousness and provisions for not only my future but also my past.

I could not be more excited about the new year and my life as a new creature. No longer living in the past however, living for the future but using the past to help guide me.

Sarah Onderdonk said...

((((((((((((((Jamey)))))))))))))))

What a testimonial for a the start of a new year (or a new day, for that matter). Thank you so much for sharing this. The verse you sited is very powerful. I'm so glad you posted this because I have searched for that verse from time to time and had forgotten the key words. It's a verse that has great meaning to me, as well... it got me through an almost "surreal" event once.

I was contemplating a 1,000 mile highway "road trip" with three very young boys once. The plan was to go from Texas to Chicago to be with Todd, who had just lost his mother in a tragic auto accident. I didn't want to fly because we'd had that really bad experience with Daniel flying to San Francisco, but knew we really needed to be with Todd. I was apprehensive about going... some days it was a challenge to get to the grocery store (as you recall) with three stair-step children. The thought of setting out on a highway adventure with my wonderful sense of direction added to the excitement.

But I found Isaiah 52:12 the night before we set out, and I knew I was meant to go. The trip was almost disasterous... with not one but TWO dead batteries and a flat tire! But with each incident... there was an incredibly convenient "rescue"... e.g., battery died in the McDonald's parking lot right next to a battery shop... flat tire within a stone's throw of a service station that sold tires... it was almost surreal, really. And the whole time, I kept thinking, OK... God is out ahead of us... we're facing some challenges here... but God is out in front.

It's something I've thought about along the cancer journey, too. How God is not surprised by anything... He knows how every story begins and ends and is in control of all circumstances. There is tremendous peace in that verse.

The point you make about learning from the past is just huge. My "stars and scars" inventory pointed to an area that Satan seems to really go after. It was somewhat stunning to see it on paper (and we're going to do this exercise on the blog at some point). But once you really understand where you are vulnerable... this awareness becomes a pretty powerful "warning flag" for the future.

Thank you so, so, so much for sharing your heart with us. We can learn a lot from you, Jamey. Keep posting, please!

Love, Sarah