Sisters and Brothers, As kids, it was easy for us to find out what the future would hold. We just asked the Magic 2-ball. The ball always seemed to know, although it didn’t always give a clear word for moving forward. Sometimes, the answer was downright non-committal.
No telling how many times I asked a question, and the same, aggravating response floated into the window: REPLY HAZY TRY AGAIN. I’ve been alive long enough now to know that the future always looks hazy. You and I never know what will happen next. We can’t know—and not knowing can make us anxious. Knowing how everything turns out would make all the difference, but that knowledge belongs only to God.
The problem is, since I don’t know what’s going to happen next, I’m inclined to forget that God does know. He sees it all from beginning to end, like a magnificent parade from above, all at once. The future belongs to him, and he determines what happens next. We can trust him with the future, because God is always and forever the same. His holiness, his perfection, his purposes never change. Even so, that doesn’t make God predictable. He is beyond us, infinitely greater and wiser, and we’ll never figure out his ways. We know he is always going to do something good, always going to rescue and bless us. Still one thing is for sure: God will surprise us every time. He’ll always do something new, never being much for repeating himself.
God loves to create and do new things— Why? Because he can. A friend taught classes in country line dancing. She loved to teach dancing, but she had one major frustration. Whatever single dance she would teach first, that’s the dance the class would want to do all night long. Apparently, rather than learn another new dance, people would rather do the one dance they know over and over again. Forever.
The problem with sticking with what we know is that all we know is past; yet we serve a God who is ever calling us forward into a new future. God says, “Do not remember the former things. Forget all that. I am about to do something new!” (cf. Isaiah 43) Are you ready for God to do something new in your life and in our life together at church? Ready or not, if we’re going to walk with the Lord, he only leads us in one direction. Forward. This is why the church’s theme for 2017 is Live Forward. We want to spur one another on toward living out of expectation (and not out of memory).
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