Bright yellow daffodils. Mercies that are new every morning. A first, fresh cup of coffee with real cream. The crackle of the binding when opening a spanking new book. A newborn with intense eyes full of wonderment nursing for the first time.

New beginnings. There’s nothing like them.

But sometimes we let the past cloud our new beginnings. I was given a new beginning this week, but it took a few days for me to believe it, embrace it, and celebrate it. Why? The pain of the past was so close that my emotions couldn’t catch up to the hope of the future.

God has something to say about that:

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18 – 19 (NIV)

This little Scripture has popped up over and over in my life the last few years, a reminder to me that God is all about taking the barren and making it fruitful. I can choose to hand over Him the dry, dusty crumbles of the past, forgetting the barren places, the hurtful places, the hopeless feelings. Instead I can choose to believe He is doing a new thing.

Creation reminds us of God’s character of trustworthy newness. Every single day God does a new thing, offering a fresh start as the sun peeks over the horizon and pours forth its warm, golden rays, beginning a day that has never yet been lived. The ecstatic little birds start to sing and their joyful worship songs fill the air as they welcome daylight–and new beginnings.

May I learn to do the same.