May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. ~Psalm 20:5
It’s time to begin again. Summer is passed. It’s back to autumn’s habits. School. Packed lunches. Homework.
There’s an excitement in beginning again. The heart enjoys traveling down a familiar road. There’s a settling comfort in returning to normalcy.
Yet beginning again doesn’t require copying the past. Beginning again is a fresh start. A chance to go about things differently. A chance to test our growth.
The seasons always return to us, but we never return to them the same.
Both my boys are returning to school. The oldest to his first year of college, away from home, without me. The youngest now drives himself, in his own car, without me. Both return, but differently than before.
We’ve returned to church. Our season away produced its necessary fruit. The heart is calibrated. The eyes are clear. We return to the gathering differently than we left.
Is not this ‘beginning again’ aspect of life a sign of God’s grace? He gives us seasons according to our needs. Some seasons we war. Some seasons we enjoy peace. In both, we grow. Or at least that’s what healthy people do. They face the battles with courage and faith. They adjust, so as to not make the same mistakes. They learn. They say ‘I’m sorry.’ They celebrate second chances. But mostly, healthy people refuse to enter a new season exactly the same way, doing the same things, in just the way they’ve always done it.
It’s the commitment of gospel-life to celebrate the new. The gospel-life wakes up every morning with a conviction that God is making all things new, today, in me. The gospel-life refuses to accept that today will just be like yesterday. The gospel fought battles yesterday that should be celebrated with joy today. Our lives should be banners declaring that today—and every day—we’re beginning again, differently, never the same.
Beginning again requires we ask the question: To what am I returning? Am I returning to the me I’ve always known—the one who refuses to change, to grow, who’s stuck? Or am I returning to the gospel story—the good news—that the “same ol’ me” just isn’t possible anymore?
What will you begin again today? How will Jesus make it different, if only you will let Him? Where do you find yourself thinking “Oh, here we go again?” How could speaking the gospel to this situation help you begin again, differently?
This post is linked up to Internet Cafe Devotion’s Word Filled Wednesday. If you would like some more encouragement, hop on over to read what others are sharing.