“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.” Isaiah 43:18-19a MSG
The end of the year is my favorite time of year. It’s a time of letting go and starting again. It’s a time for discarding old things and welcoming the new. In Peru, which is where my parents are from, the people have a tradition for New Year’s Eve. That night, they start bonfires on a block corner every few blocks, then they take old stuff – clothes, shoes, toys, etc. – and they throw them in the fire. To them, it is a symbol of doing away with the past in expectation of receiving that same thing, but brand new!
I can still recall the first time I experienced New Year’s Eve in Peru. I was mesmerized by the bright shades of yellow and red flames. It was amazing to see how easily the people in Peru were willing to let go of the old to bring in the new. I remember wanting to throw my stuff in those flames, too! A thought my parents quickly cast out. But recalling this memory made me think of all that this time of year signifies. And, I wonder – how many of us would do what the Peruvians do? Or, do we still hold onto old things each end-of-year season and drag them into our new year? How many of those things were meant to stay in the past?
There are only two days left, not only in the year, but in the decade. On January 1, 2020, we’ll start a new day, new month, new year, and new decade! Crazy, right? But, consider this, it’s impossible to step into the new, while holding onto the past. The Bible says you can’t pour new wine into old wineskins. Instead, we can choose to let go of past things and start fresh! We can make the decision, during these last two days, to create a list of those past things that were meant to be forgotten. Past hurts, disappointments, mistakes, offenses (you fill in the blank). Make a list, then burn it! Okay, or just crumble it up and throw it out. But whatever past thing it might be, it’s old history. So, forget them with full expectation that you are getting something brand new! Happy New Year!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You! Lord, I bless You! Thank You for this week and the new year coming. Thank You for waking me up to another opportunity to do Your will. Father, as I get ready to ring in a new year, I pray that Holy Spirit brings to my memory all those things I have not let go of that I should let go. You said that You would do a new thing and I believe Your Word. But You cannot do it if there are things I’m not willing to release. Holy Spirit, give me wisdom and courage to leave behind the old things, people, or places that God wants me to. And, I pray for the boldness to step into the new things God has for me in 2020. Lord, I thank You for a new year and I am in full expectation. I believe that I receive all that You have for me. And, I give You, only You, all the glory, honor, and praise in Jesus’ name!