All Things New
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~2 Corinthians 5:17
It is springtime here in Minnesota, even though it doesn't feel like it. The temps are still below freezing often during the night. The trees are bare and dark with their arms stretched high, calling out for their leaves to come. There is a mere hint of green starting to break-forth across the lawn as grass begins to grow.
It was a long and cold winter here in the land of 10,000 lakes. We suffered a bit more this year than most that I can remember. The cold seemed more harsh and lasted so much longer. We had so many days that were well below freezing and it often felt like we lived in the tundra. There also seemed to be more days of thick clouds and a general lack of sunshine.
This pattern of weather reminds me of sin. It casts a shadow of darkness across your life. It is cold and void of Son-light. It brings you down and it darkens your heart. The Bible tells us that sin hardens our hearts. I know what this feels like. I have experienced dark periods of sin roll into my life. I have rebelled and walked away from God in the past. But, God did not leave me. He whispered. He called my name and HE called me out. He never gave up on me. And, He will never give up on you.
We have an amazing tree in our front yard that our kids gave to us. It is a Magnolia tree. Typically, this tree is the first to show signs of life in the spring. Buds appear even while there is still snow on the ground. It is the very first tree in our yard to break forth life. It blooms beautiful white flowers before the leaves even come. Flowers like the one in the picture above. It is a comforting site to see this glowing white tree each spring. To me, it represents all things new. It reminds me that even though it still feels like winter, spring is on the way. These tender white flowers are the first clue of the transformation that comes with spring.
It is interesting to me that God choose Resurrection Sunday to land in springtime. Just as the cross brings us new life and freedom in Christ, spring sets us free from the dark of winter.
God is in the business of making all things new. God is in the business of transformation.
And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." ~Revelations 21:5
We don't have to stay stuck in the dark of winter that sin brings into our lives. But, often we do out of selfishness, pride and rebellion. Repentance requires us to turn our back to our sin; to do the opposite of what we "feel" like doing in order to be set free.
Have you noticed that you never "feel like" doing the things you should? I always "feel like" digging into a bag of chips rather than make a salad for lunch. I would love a warm cup of coffee topped with whip cream over a glass of water any day. I would much rather hide under a blanket on the couch than go out for a walk. On and on it goes. We rarely "feel like" doing the hard things, only the easy things.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~Ephesians 4:22-24
We can stay stuck in our sin, or we can turn from it. It is up to us. We have a choice. Sin will harden our hearts and keep us in darkness, but the second that we choose to run from it is the moment that God gives us a new heart. He calls it a heart of flesh verses a heart of stone.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. ~Ezekiel 36:26
I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. ~Jeremiah 24:7
How about you, friend? Are you stuck? Do you feel like your winter will never end? Do you need transformation? Do you you need to be set free from a bad habit, or does something in your life need to be healed?
He is able!
You are never too far gone and it is never too late. There is nothing that He can't wash white as snow. Give Him the darkest crevices of your heart and let Him flood it with light. Watch Him as He makes all things new. The battle belongs to the Lord and He will fight for you.