A New Beginning—Forever

A New Year: Time to turn that tattered old leaf over. “This year we’ll succeed in making those changes,” we say. “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ…”(Galatians 1:3-5 NKJV).
Picture with me a CEO, a promoter of animal rights. One evening, while driving inebriated, he hits a neighborhood dog. He stops, swings the door open and devastation lays at his feet: the dog is dead.
With his reputation at stake, he stuffs the dog into a black garbage bag. With no tags, it won’t be missed. He finds a dumpster. But just as he opens the lid, a kid comes up and asks, “Hey, mister what ya doing?” He jumps into his car, bag and all, and speeds a way. What if someone finds out he not only killed an animal, but also was half drunk?
Days pass and the bag is moved repeatedly. His remorse is intense. He’s on the verge of becoming a vagabond. “Some wandered in the desolate wilderness, finding no way to a city where they could live” (Psalm 107:4 NKJV). At first, no one notices the changes in this person’s demeanor. But as the animal decomposes, so too, does our friend’s personality: from quiet and focused to restless, untrusting and withdrawn. “They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits failed within them” (Psalm 107:5).
His guilt feels like the black bag is hanging around his neck. He buried the dog, but knows its exact location. Another New Year approaches. He hopes things will change, along with this sack of wretchedness. Time for a new leaf: The clock strikes twelve. But the smelly, gruesome reminder still lay hidden. And the weight of his crimes gets heavier around his neck. “ . . . that He might deliver us from this present evil age,. . . (Galatians 1:5).
Sound a little far fetched? Not really. This analogy illustrates why when we try to turn over a new leaf of change, it doesn’t work. From one year to the next, we drag our black bag of hidden bad habits, grudges, and offenses with us. If we put up a good front, smile and live as expected on the outside, no one will know what we’re concealing. But living two lives takes its toll. We need help. We want to release the bag. We can’t take it anymore. Our New Year’s leaf is shattering!
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He rescued them from their distress” (Psalm 107:4).
God heard the cry. He sent His Son—who freely died for the transgressions we kept carrying. Friends, we no longer need to depend upon a withered old leaf for change. We’re rescued when we’ve given our hearts to Jesus.
Now with each New Year, we can rejoice that our refuse of sin is gone because; “ . . . according to the will our God and Father [we are saved] to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen”(Galatians 1:5). HAPPY NEW YEAR – FOREVER!