New Things

” . . . the new thing . . .”

“Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.”  (Isaiah 43:19)

Okay, it’s almost Thanksgiving so our minds are turned toward those questions our school teachers and Sunday School teachers burned into our brains, like, “What are you thankful for?”  This year I’ve decided I’m grateful for new things.  This past Saturday afternoon I walked into the house after having finished my second funeral in two days.  Patti said, “I need a walk in the woods!”  “Me too,” I agreed, so off we went.  “So where?” became the next question.  Just two days before I’d listened to our state’s director of parks describe a new place called, The Forks of Coal Natural Area.  It was near our community, so off we went, and enjoyed hiking on one of its trails to Roof Rock, the rock formation in today’s photo.  Sometimes the new really hits the spot!

Stop and think for a moment about the times in your life when you’ve stood in one place and thought, “I just don’t know how I’m going to get there.”  “There” could be a physical, emotional, relational, or other kind of destination.  Maybe you’ve just suffered an emotional loss and you’re not sure how you’ll get to a place of healing.  Maybe you’ve suffered a deep hurt in a relationship and you’re just not sure how you’ll get to a place of restoration.  In such times, it can be devastating if we can’t see how in the world we can get from where we are to where we need to be.  Sometimes we can’t see the way or imagine the outcome because we only see the resources, behaviors, habits, ideas, etc. that we’ve known and used.

When President Kennedy made the seemingly outlandish claim that we would go to the moon, I suspect that most of the equipment needed for the journey had not been invented at the time of his declaration.  New ideas had to be dreamed, new equipment had to be invented, and new people had to be recruited.  Seems to me like that’s the same for many of the situations we face.  We might need new dreams, new resources, new help, and even new people working in new ways to get us where we need to go.  If we only count on the known, the old, we might never have the courage to journey forward to healing, restoration, and hope.

I know that God has given me the new thing I’ve needed on so many occasions in my life.  That blessing has allowed me to take new risks.  On more than one occasion I’ve plunged into something not fully knowing how to get through the journey, but trusting that God would give me the new thing I’d need when it was time.  Sometimes I think of it as God showing me where to find the next rock to step on as I try to cross a stream.

I’m continuing to listen to the post election news.  It feels like we’re having difficulty seeing a way forward.  I know that God can help us find new ways to work and live together if only we will listen and follow.  I pray that God will help me be watchful and ready to follow in ways that encourage love, mercy, justice, and hope for all.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on November 16, 2016.

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