Nouveau


It’s an interesting study of personality to watch how people respond to what is new in their lives. You can never quite anticipate the response. How you handle what is novel, fresh or unprecedented exposes a great deal about the driving force of internal character. Perhaps you’ve seen, or been, the eager purchaser who puts on their bling before even leaving the store. Then there’s the new-car buyer happy to roar out of the lot; the excited extravert who can’t wait to share their prize with all and sundry. The thinking? If you bought it, shouldn’t you enjoy it immediately? No delayed gratification there! Or, are you one of those (like me) who, upon acquiring something new, squirrel it away, just to savor the thought of possession before bringing it out for the first time? There’s a delicious moment to simply relish owning something you may have coveted for a while or were blessed with on a really fantastic sale. So much of our personality and take on the world is expressed through how we handle our possessions, especially what is brand, spanking new. The turn of the year, though you may not previously have likened it to merchandise, is exactly like this. The New Year is ‘Nouveau’; “recently acquired, created or developed: modern and up-to-date”[1]. It’s tender and juicy-green, waiting our attention and nourishing. Welcome to 2019.


As much as we yearn forwards to opening an exciting package of days, we’ve got to look back for a moment and properly close a depleted season. Often, we reach December feeling like things should have been better. If we’re honest, we’ll admit…we feel let down. God’s ways are not our ways, so when we’re on His plan and not our own, inevitably, we can feel a bit aggrieved. I’ve frequently expressed to the Lord how disappointed, outraged or saddened I am by the road He has me on. This doesn’t seem to faze Him unduly, and, contrarily, I often get extremely concise answers as to the ‘why’ behind certain circumstances. Lately, I’ve learned it’s necessary to grieve, for a moment, the past ‘dead’ year before mentally shifting to the new.


I realize it sounds crazy, but I’ve actually taken the time to do a brief written synopsis of the past 365 days, comparing circumstances against expectations generated by the prophetic words I asked for and received. Somehow, simply writing it down seems to clear it off my mental desk-top, much like a mission de-briefing. It’s not an easy calisthenic, because you have to face the disappointment of your anticipated hopes or even profoundly-held beliefs. You have to manfully grasp your own screw-ups; the botching of critical connections, entrances or exits. Put your ‘big-girl-panties’ on, and just admit that some of your own chagrin is entirely your fault. God had better, but in our inexperience, ignorance or self-will, we just couldn’t do it His way, and are now left dealing with the fall-out. Selah. It’s necessary to also release circumstances beyond our control. This is an exercise in repentance and forgiveness that clears the ground for a new year and hits the ‘reset’ button in a salubrious way.


Hope springs eternal in the human breast, so it’s our basic nature to cheerfully anticipate an exceptional year of fulfilled desire or dreams long-cherished. We bound optimistically out of Aude Lange Syne, convinced that days ahead will be better. This is not mere folly, but the joy of the Lord, the gratitude for life, surging within us. We have been given precious days, and we want to eke out every bit of delicious juice from them. We covet our appointed seasons, greedily seeking choice opportunities. We want the full banqueting table of joy and sorrow; blessings and bane. We’re not going down without a fight! There’s a particularly beautiful image given regarding this unquenchable need, found in the book of Job, of all places!


For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground, Yet at the scent of water it will bud And bring forth branches like a plant. Job 14:7-9 KJV


As we are quintessentially spiritual creatures and not simply physical ones, we course towards life like a seed germinating uninhibitedly towards the sunlight. It’s our DNA; our destiny. Never mind that it’s dirty, difficult, dangerous and just plain undignified; we battle for every inch with primal desire. In the same chapter as our previous verse, the much-beleaguered Job is in full rant against the circumstances of life and death currently testing him, and he says something that rings deep within our spirits; the very root of hope.


If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes. Job 14:14 KJV


Every glorious year that’s given to us, we are awaiting, grasping, gestating, gaining, seeking change and growth. Some years may see a huge leap in circumstances; others are characterized by the subtlest of movements and time-lapse photography transformations. The real challenge is to understand where the Lord’s bias of action is in our lives, and pay attention. The good things He ordained for us require our cooperation and partnership. Don’t fight the flow of the river of God within you…go with the current. The designations of 2019 for you may not be what you had in mind, but trust Him and you will see the desire of your heart emerge from the unlikeliest of sources. Nothing I love better than watching Adonai defy the odds, overturn the powers that be, upset the temple-tables and uproot mountains, all to fulfill words spoken over me countless aeons ago. His ruthless desire is a thing of beauty I’ve learned to cherish. I’m all in in 2019! What about you?


…See! I make all things new! Revelation 21:5 KJV


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[1] ‘Nouveau’ definition @ Dictionary.com, Merriam/Webster Dictionary

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