Allow me to welcome you for the 1282757483928th time to 2018! Welcome, welcome, welcome!
This past week you may have been reflecting on 2017- how terrible it was or how incredible it was— the highs and the lows of the year. This week I read and heard phrases such as “New year, new me; new year, same me; new year new ring” and even, “New Year same poop( what?).” It’s such a perfect time to make new challenges, goals, and resolutions and everyone seems to be encouraging and "enspired"!
During my goal making process, the Holy Spirit took me to Hebrews 13:5 which was a verse that sounded oddly familiar to another verse. After a little googling, I was taken to none other than Deuteronomy 31.
What do I mean by none other?
It must be providential that in this moment of restart we find ourselves in a similar moment of transition such as the children of Israel found themselves in Deuteronomy 31. Moses announces in the beginning of the chapter that he is 120 years old, he’s not crossing the Jordan, that it’s time for change, and here comes his farewell. I can imagine the children of Israel with mixed emotions, like many of us are, reflecting on their memories with Moses, excitement and anticipation for finally reaching the promised land, fear and anxiousness for their new leader, and maybe even uncertainty. See what I mean about it being providential?
In 2018 you may begin with at a new school, or a new job, a new title or job position, a complete career change, new classes, maybe even a new relationship change that we live on a constant basis.
Moses tells the Israelites to be strong and of good courage.
What if in the midst of our change, the challenge of being strong and courageous was not some physical thing we had to do but instead it was trust and assurance upon God? What If it was uttermost surrender to God’s will; what if it is more prayer, more listening, more “being still” than fighting, running, or being busy?
Moses doesn’t finish there: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Moses turns to Joshua, the new leader, and tells him the same phrase: "He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Even though Israel was going through change, even though you and I are going through change, God remains the same. God is still the God of promises, and miracles. In Deuteronomy 31 Moses tells the Israelites God would never leave them, and in Matthew Jesus tell us, God, will never leave us.
In this season of transition and change I hope you accept the message of Deuteronomy 31:1-8 and Hebrews 13:5 a message sprinkled throughout the entire Bible: God—Emmanuel—in your season of change remains with you, will not leave you. So I challenge you stand up, be courageous, pray those scary prayers this year— allowing God to take you shake you and while doing so also shake the world. Welcome to 2018 and say it with me: “New year, Same God.”
Chantal Williams recently graduated from Andrews University as a doctor of physical therapy, and has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2011.