"Because of the Lord's great love . . . his compassions never fail. They are new every morning."
- Lamentations 3:22-23
The only brand-new car I ever owned was just six weeks old when I backed into my son's car - and scraped $1,000 worth of paint and "brand-newness" from one whole side.
I had an excuse: My son had parked slightly behind and to the left of my car, exactly in my blind spot - instead of pulling into the garage as he was supposed to do!
Alas, my repetitious speech was nothing more than a futile attempt at accepting my own stupidity. (Today I don't back up, pull into traffic, or make a turn of any kind without craning my neck as far as it will go to make sure all coasts are clear for take-off.)
I was mortified, especially when the man at the body shop looked at the odometer and gasped, "Six hundred miles! How could you have an accident when the car was barely off the lot?" Noticing my long face, he kindly changed his tone and said, "Well, nothing stays new forever."
It's a new year and, if not a new car, we've likely received something new for Christmas. By now, perhaps, we've also scraped some of the newness off one of those gifts we thought would look new at least longer than this. We're also promising (resolving) what new things we'll do - or not do - in the New Year. Probably, with 2007 soon to arrive, one or more of our new resolutions will soon be broken, too.
"Behold, I make all things new," God says about 50 times in the Bible. From the new land he promised his people near the beginning of the story to the "new heaven and new earth" (Revelation 21:1) he describes as the New Testament comes to a close, God never tires of repeating his promises (resolutions) to us that such things as his unbreakable peace, joy and love can be ours forever.
In contrast to a fail-safe God, imperfect men and women are more like the impetuous Apostle Peter.
"Oh, no, Lord! I'll never deny you; you can count on me!" he said, before a mixture of fear and cowardice swept his resolution away. Like Peter, our words are often stronger than our strength to carry them out.
New Year's resolutions aren't exactly legal contracts. In fact, most are made in jest: We'll read more food labels and cut down on fat and cholesterol; clean the attic before we put the Christmas decorations away; read the books we received last Christmas; pay off our Christmas debts before the bill from the IRS comes due; and promise other heroic deeds we know in our hearts we won't do.
But Got has no feet of clay, no flesh weaker than a willing spirit. Neither does he make his resolutions to benefit himself. He makes them all for us.
Nothing stays new forever? Nothing made with human hands or spoken with human lips, that is. Our products, promises and resolutions don't come with eternal guarantees. Fortunately, those made by God have just such a guarantee. Here are a few of them:
- "The Lord ... keeps his covenant for a thousand generations, and constantly loves those who love him." (Deuteronomy 7:9)
- "Morning by morning I dispense my justice, and every new day I will not fail... ." (Zephaniah 3:5)
- "God's unfailing love will last forever, and his faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens." (Psalm 89:2)
- "God bound himself with an oath, so that those who received his promise could be sure he would never change his mind." (Hebrews 6:17)
- "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20)
Barbara Seaborn is a local freelance writer. E-mail comments to seabara at aol.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.