All Things New
He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Revelation 21:5 (NASB)
For so many folks in Texas, and especially our hometown of Austin, this past week was rough. An ice storm of massive proportions swept through the city early in the week, leaving thousands without power for days. Line and cable repair technicians worked tirelessly around the clock and by Friday morning most of the city was back to normal.
Except for the landscape.
Across neighborhood after neighborhood, the thawing ice revealed a surrealistic portrait of destruction as trees bent and eventually broke under the weight. Live Oaks 30- or 40-years old split in two or were even uprooted completely. Social media pages were crowded with photos of limbs covering driveways, littering yards, or blocking roads.
It looked, as one of my friends said, like a tornado had ripped through the city, destroying the trees but sparing the houses.
As the clean-up began in earnest Friday and Saturday, with neighbor helping neighbor, and mounds of debris piling up on sidewalks, I was struck with a thought – this was the beginning of something new, a cleansing of sorts. God, using the awesome power of nature, created new community connections, bringing people together in unexpected ways, and making space for new growth amidst the chaos.
In a sense, God was doing what He always does – using what is left after hardship to give us renewed strength and hope. God was busy making things new.
There is a wonderful proclamation at the end of the Book of Revelation. God’s people have been gathered in heaven following the Great Tribulation, after the rise and fall of the Antichrist, and after the final Battle of Armageddon. It comes after Christ’s glorious return, after the judgment of nations, after Jesus’ 1,000-year reign and on earth and end of Satan’s hold over mankind, after the new heaven and earth, and after the New Jerusalem.
After all these things, we read these words: “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’” (Revelation 21:5). Even after all that had taken place, God was not finished making things new!
In the aftermath of any trying period, it’s easy to see the negative instead of the positive. Yet, in these same moments, God is often nudging us to see the possibilities of new things and to receive them in faith, happiness, even celebration. Simply put, God often uses trials to introduce new beginnings for us:
- New mercies
- New blessings
- New opportunities
- New responsibilities
- New faith replacing old fears
- New conquests over stubborn mistakes
The Apostle Paul, writing in his second letter to the church at Corinth, comments on the nature of new things through our faith in Jesus: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a beautiful promise that anyone, regardless of who they are or the circumstances of their life, can find a new creation in Christ, a regeneration of the old into something reborn.
“All things have become new” is the language of God’s perfect, recreated work. God wants to do new things in our lives!
The ice is gone in Austin, and the recovery continues. After all, trees, landscape, even damaged property can be replaced. One thing that can never be replaced is the unique beauty and importance of our souls to God.
Through everything, good or bad, this truth remains apparent: when we keep our eyes focused on Christ, every test we face creates an opportunity for a new beginning.
May God always guide your path.