2020 has been born with great fanfare. Yet, from the smoke scarred skies of Sydney to the desolated stretches of the Philippines after a typhoon, many will enter the year with trepidation. But, making a new start can be a very real part of ‘hanging in there’ through all kinds of storms. It is remarkable that communities get rebuilt after disasters. Sometimes, the ground seared by fires becomes even more fruitful than it was before the blaze.
What some regard as irreparable, nonredeemable, totally broken down and destroyed, God sees as potential for renewal and recovery. In one biblical image the Almighty is pictured as a potter working some clay on a wheel. The pot being prepared in his hands is marred by some deficiency. There is plenty more clay available, so why bother with this one? But instead of throwing it away, the potter just makes it over again. Something new for his purpose and glory.
To change the metaphor, without the darkness and restrictions of the caterpillar’s earthbound time, or pupa stage, there would never be the beauty and wonder of the butterfly. No matter how dark your pain and suffering seems to you today, please know that God is the master of new starts. He is a redeemer of pain.
I know that for myself. After 22 years of the most appalling agony known to humankind – around a hundred admissions to hospital with attacks of acute pancreatitis and ascending cholangitis – and the searing pain of chronic pancreatitis daily requiring huge doses of opiates, I am free of pain today! If I had cut short my suffering by any artificial means (come on, you know what I’m taking about) I would have caused my loved ones such anguish, and would have missed the developments in research and surgery that led to my deliverance.
You were designed to fly. Don’t give up hope. You too can make a new start in 2020.
Happy New Year!