TGFB! (Thank God For Beginnings)

Often times, we hear or read encouraging words urging us to press on towards a given goal, to keep our eyes on the prize, to give our 110% push because we’re almost there, at the end.
A less frequent, but not uncommon, message is the one about the journey. Keep working out, make sound choices, save one dollar a day, don’t give up, put one foot in front of the other, etc.

 Rarely do we hear anything about beginnings. Perhaps because for the most part beginnings are complex. For one, we get many shots at starting over. Then we get frustrated with ourselves, or others, because how many times is it going to take for us, or them, to get it right? And yet, new beginnings are a gift given to us by our Heavenly Father for not just one area, but all aspects of our lives.

The Bible begins like this, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1 NET). But then we quickly find out there was a mess. And God proceeded to organize, with a new beginning. Then, men made a mess of things, again. And God chose Noah and his family to start all over. Then God chose Abraham to start a nation by which all nations would be blessed. And then He Himself came down in the flesh and began the period of Grace by which we all have access to His forgiveness, salvation and a life abundant here on earth and for eternity.

Then, why do we dislike beginnings so much at times? Waking up in the morning can be a drag. We prefer Fridays to Mondays. And let’s not talk about that first day when we start a new diet!

I believe it is all in the perspective. “The LORD’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant!” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NET). If God’s loyal kindness NEVER CEASES and His compassions NEVER END, then what does it mean when it says they are fresh, or new, every morning? It seems sort of paradoxical. But here’s a story that clued me in to God’s point on new beginnings.

When my autistic son was about five years old, I was gently pushing him towards independence. This was not easy since leaving him to a given task often meant I had to remind him or refocus him a million times. For instance, leaving him to get dressed for school in the mornings was painful. I had to come back to his room numerous times to say, get dressed, time to go, breakfast is ready, we will be late, you will miss the bus, and on and on. For the most part, when I’d come knocking on his door, I would find him totally naked. Almost every day I heard myself saying to him, you don’t have to change your underwear, just your pajamas. And every day he would again strip down. Some days I would find him staring at his reflection in the mirror. Other days I would find him looking out the window, naked. One particular day, I ran upstairs to his room on the usual mission, to get him going. I found him lost in thought in front of his bedroom window, naked. It looked like he was staring at the sun and the sun was staring right back at him. And it hit me, every day is a new beginning. I must rid myself of the burdens of yesterday, daily. Just like my son would strip himself off each morning, not even keeping underwear on, I must learn to embrace each morning, and each beginning anew. If you’re starting a new job, don’t bring the burdens of the old one with you. If you’re starting a new fitness/wellness program, don’t bring with you your past failed attempts. Give your new beginnings a real shot at beginning.

God gave us a true beginning at the cross. He said to the repented thief, “today you will be with me in paradise,” (Luke 23:43 NET). Jesus encouraged him to leave all his filthy rags behind, right there and then. He needed do nothing to earn this new beginning, just believing that Jesus was the Son of God and his Savior, and he would be in paradise that very day.

Do you believe God for your new beginnings? Do you trust Him that He has made things new for you, not just yesterday, but today and every day? He doesn’t leave us nor forsake us. And if it takes millions of times that we trip and fall, He is always near to take our hand and get us started again on our continuous journey. Our story doesn’t end here, it doesn’t even end when He comes for His church or when we take our last breath. And even that turns out to be yet another beginning, eternity with Him.

In the here and now, however, I encourage you to embrace the daily beginnings that He offers you, for they are His blessed gifts.

by Carmen Tanski
blogger of life