He Is With Us!
By Diane Faison-McKinzie
“Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” (Ezekiel 18:31, ESV). This verse encourages us to make ourselves a new heart and a new spirit, and we do that by casting off our transgressions (sins), spending time in God’s Word, and forming a new pattern of thinking. Couldn’t we use that as a guide to start our new year of 2021? I believe the answer is “Yes!” as the year 2020 has been a test of our faith and our emotional, mental, and physical health. I think this epidemic has forced us to get a new heart and forced us to think differently about ourselves, our family, and others.
As we leave the old year behind, with all the horrors we never expected to endure, let us learn from what we have experienced. We have learned that we truly now understand that tomorrow is not promised to us, and we have been forced to learn a new way of thinking. As we are given a new day, our new way of thinking should encompass not wasting any time of the day, whether it is spent in prayer, doing something for your neighbor, calling someone to let them know they are thought of, volunteering at an organization that helps those in need, or many other things.
As Ezekiel writes, “a new heart” is a statement which I believe means “a new you.” What if you could consider setting a weekly Christian goal for yourself? This small effort would be a start in creating “a new you.” One week, my Christian deed turned out to be putting $20 towards the grocery bill of the person behind me in line. Something as simple as that has made one step towards me becoming a new person. In the year 2021, it is my hope that I will continue to grow in my new way of thinking. Let this be your year of Christian love, understanding, giving, and prayer.
We really don’t know what the new year will bring, but we do know for certain we can bring God into it. “Do not fear… When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…” (Isaiah 43:1-2) New Year’s Day, 2021 is filled with uncharted waters, and that can be disquieting, as we don’t really know what will happen or what storms may come. But we must try to remember He (GOD) is with us. Whatever the new year brings, we need to thank God, because in all things HE is with us. Let us rejoice in being able to see a new day–and a new year–that God has created!