“See, I am doing a new thing…” said God through Isaiah. (Is. 43 v19)
Prophecy has been described as the skill of passing on to others what has been heard in the throneroom of Heaven. (Much more can and has been said to define prophecy- but let’s stay with this one simple insight.) Isaiah was given messages from God to a people who were looking back to times when the Lord had worked powerfully on behalf of the nation. Now enduring a time of change and loss, Israel wanted to hold on to the assurances that were comforting and safe. God sent a whole series of prophets over an extended period: both southern and northern kingdoms were warned, challenged, and told to look forward.
Living in the past is unhealthy. Remembering it in order to learn from the past is better- but selectively clinging on to the past because we refuse to face reality is dangerous. We are called to be those who are moving on in the light of what the Lord is doing NOW and in the future.
We can only live in one direction- forward through Time. It is part of the structure of our existence. Dreaming about Time travel may be fun, but Doctor Who isn’t out there.
But we’ve all wished we could “go back and change X or Y” and wondered if we could change the future. Marty McFly and Doc Brown tried that, and a fine trilogy of movies made a fortune for the stars and film companies! Going back created mayhem, going forward to avoid the consequences reaped chaos. It was great fun!
Anyway, to the photo. Last year my pot of 10 tulips flowered beautifully, along with a currant bush sapling planted (I think) by a bird or squirrel. I’m clinging on the hope the show will be the same this Spring. Watch this pot…
But last year saw a long and severe drought through the summer. Then we had some sharp frosts. Then it started raining: on and on and on and on and on.
I have no idea what may have survived. There may be one tulip, or four, or ten, or none.
So what will flourish this year? Being canny, I clung to hope: AND planted other bulbs and corms in that general location. Daffs and ranunculus should appear- some of them anyway- and the pretty new floribunda rose nearby has survived the winter and is in shoot at the moment. Moving on means the garden will be full of colour again, if not exactly the same. The “new thing” has started and as long as the rain stops by April it’s looking good.
What do we cling onto in our lives? The successes and blessings we have already known, and/or the hurts and regrets that we have experienced? Are we willing to learn from the past without clinging on to it, and put our trust in the God who is still saying “See, I am doing a new thing…”
The future will be full of new blessings and opportunities, and even though some of it will be hard, God promises to walk with us. That means we can cling on to Him, and move on with Him. And that is a truth still being spoken in Heaven’s throneroom.