“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”(Is 43:18-19)
Here in the Eastern United States, the ski areas have just opened.
Although I end every season in April bereft and sorrowful, somehow, in November, when snowsport season rolls around again, I am distinctly unenthused for the beginning.
In fact, I dread it.
My head is filled with anxious thoughts and my body tenses correspondingly at having to begin…again.
“Ugh the awful snow! The rocks! This narrow snow strip on the only run open! The insane crowds careening down said narrow strip in terrifying fashion! Ack! Was I ever actually good at this? Blergh! Why does anyone like this?!” And so on.
Admittedly, with all that’s going on in our broken world, this is not an example of real hardship. But for me, it does point to a deep-seated reluctance to trust that no matter how many times God has me “begin again”, He is ALWAYS beside me. My anxiety stems from a lack of faith in our heavenly Father, as unbelief gets the upper hand in my heart.
As I prepare to “begin again” as a ski racing coach, I’ve been thinking about Joseph and all the times he was forced to “begin again”: His brothers betrayed and sold him. So, he had to begin again as a slave. Potiphar’s wife lied, and he had to begin again as a prisoner. In prison, he began again as an anointed seer. Then he began again as an emperor’s aid. Then he began again as the ruler of the land.
With each beginning he suffered again and again, Joseph matured as a man of Christ. As his dependence on the Lord deepened, so did his faith because, coupled with each setback and ending, was the promise of a new (and better) beginning.
Through Joseph, I can see that no matter how tedious, scary, or exhausting, the new beginning God presents to me is ALWAYS for my good. By meditating on God’s many and rich promises and asking for the help of His Spirit, I find that, in Christ, God promises to have our back and be with us wherever we go. Therefore, we can quiet our fears, fulfill our callings, and be strong and courageous.
So, while my legs and mindset may be shaky as I set out to “begin again” on the ski slopes, I have confidence that, like Joseph, every time God asks me to “begin again” in areas both large and small, He is preparing me to be a light on the hill–for the betterment of those around me and for His Glory!
- Do you struggle to begin things? What holds you back from trying new things or starting a new venture? In what situations do you tend to refrain from beginning?
- How do you feel or react when you have to begin all over again–to have to re-start or refresh something in your life, mind, body or faith walk?
- Is there a way you can invite the Lord into your beginnings in a more penetrative way?
By Donna Devlin|Bethlehem, NH