I have a big callous on the side of my left foot. I faithfully rub it with a pumice stone when I take my bath and then slather on lotion or cream - all to no avail. The callous remains.
I think it is the way I walk. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, making it virtually impossible to correct. The callous remains.
I have come to realize, that in spit of my best efforts and resolutions to change, I have a problem with my spiritual walk as well. In this case I do know what the problem is. I have a tendency to look back. It is very difficult to walk well when I am constantly turning around to see the places I've been. It causes me to stumble and sometimes to fall. Often I stop walking altogether, overwhelmed by discouragement and guilt.
I thought perhaps I wouldn't even bother asking the Lord for a word this year, but He had other plans. He began to whisper something into my spirit that simply could not be silenced. It didn't seem quite right to me. There are so many things I need to change in my life, so many failings I need to correct, so many besetting sins that need to be repented of. I thought of words like "self-control" or "priorities" or "balance." He whispered, "New."
I heard it first in my last memory verses for 2009:
"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.
Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18,19
Over and over again the beautiful words spoke to my heart - "I will do something new..."
Then I heard the gentle whisper as I read the last page of my devotional for this past year:
"Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.
Leave the irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him."
"My Utmost For His Highest" Oswald Chambers
Knowing this child, full of uncertainties and doubt, He leaned in once more, speaking through the second page of my new devotional for 2010:
"How could I be anything but quite happy if I believed always that all the past is forgiven,and all the present furnished with power, and the future bright with hope, because of the same abiding facts, which don't change with my mood, do not crumble, because I totter and stagger at the promise through unbelief but stand firm and clear with their peaks of pearl cleaving the air of Eternity, and the bases of their hills rooted unfathomably in the Rock of God?"
Last night in church: "He came to make all things new."
He has imprinted "new" on my heart over these past several days, and I eagerly embrace it. Yes, there are so many things that need to change in my life, but I am going to allow the Father to take control of the agenda. My part is to lean into Him.
I am so weary of false starts, of good beginnings that end in discouragement and failure, of trying and failing and looking back and feeling hopeless. He desires to do something new. I want to be aware of it, not so distracted by the past that I fail to see or hear.
I know that I will not be made perfect, just new. I will still stumble and sometimes fall, but I won't keep looking back because He is waiting just ahead. He waits with forgiveness and grace. He is waiting to make all things new.