I’m noticing a recent trend. Most of the people I follow are posting regularly about making a new start or looking to the next season of life. Because it’s January, this is no surprise. Most of us are excited about the new year, a new, fresh start. I can imagine, however, that most of us have already broken the new year’s resolutions. That is, of course, if we even started in the first place.
There is something refreshing about new things. That’s a no-brainer, right? We love the smell of a new car, the crunch of the pages of a new book. In our house, it’s the kisses of a new baby. It’s vibrant. Invigorating, even. We all love new things. For some, it’s the mystery of meeting a new friend; building a new relationship. Perhaps it’s the prospect of learning something new, understanding something you didn’t before. Whatever the case, we love new stuff.
Here’s my question in all of this: why do we long for something new? I mean, what’s wrong with being content with the old, the stuff we know? We love new stuff when it comes to cars, books and babies (and maybe puppies, if that’s your thing). Why is it we want new but there’s nothing like an old sweatshirt and worn-out jeans? Those comfortable tennis shoes we should’ve been thrown out years (ok, maybe a decade) ago. We want new, but we usually find comfort in the old. It’s comfortable, reliable and regular. It’s the thing we know.
Are you seeing the paradigm here? We want new, but we gravitate toward what’s comfortable, what we know. Why is that? What causes this tension in our lives and hearts? You’ve read this before on this blog – when we come to deep questions, the first (and best) place to start is in the Scriptures. What does the Bible say about it?
In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon pens these words
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
(Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 ESV)
Eternity in our hearts? Really? There is nothing better for us to do but be joyful and do good? So there is a longing in our hearts for eternity. God’s prescription for our plight is to seek to be joyful and do good. Solomon goes on to say that everyone should take pleasure in his toil. No matter your station in life, you have to seek joy, to take pleasure in whatever you’re going through. Usually, we want to a new job, to find a new hobby, start over with something fresh. Why? Because we’re trying to fill the longing for eternity. There must be something better…and there is.
Toward the end of the Biblical story. You find these words,
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
(Revelation 21:4-5 ESV)
There comes a moment when all will be new. God will fill that longing for eternity, for newness. He does this by recreating everything. Death, mourning, crying, pain – the old things – will be gone. It’s as if creation will let out this deep sigh; all will be as it should be. There won’t be a longing for something different and new, because it will all be perfect. Redeemed, refreshed, renewed. Peaceful and satisfied.
To all my friends who are struggling, desiring something new. Press into the One who is making all things new. For your grief, there is comfort. For your pain, there is healing. It may not subside until those words above have come true, but it’s coming. He will heal. Jesus will restore. All will be as it should be, as it was created to be. And our longing will be fulfilled…
grace and peace,