I got a new refrigerator yesterday. The old one had died, and the new refrigerator was finally delivered. Every time I walk into my kitchen, I experience a little thrill of happiness when I see it. When I open it, the shelves are gleaming, with no crumbs or spills to betray what is stored in there. As I put my groceries in it, I can organize them carefully for convenience and to maximize my space, enjoying the newness of it.
Getting something new is like that, isn’t it? Whether it be a large item like a new car or a piece of furniture, or a small thing like a new item of clothing, a book, or even a new brand of shampoo or lipstick, there’s something pleasurable in something new. That’s why they call shopping “retail therapy”—because for a short time, the pleasure center in your brain is activated, and you momentarily forget all your hum-drum obligations and duties.
When I’ve blown it on my diet, I wait for a new day to start again and do it right. There’s something about a blank slate that gives me hope. It gives me hope that I can be successful this time. Hope has a way of changing my perspective and boosting my expectations. I need that hope in the troubled days we live in, and I believe everyone needs hope in their lives—hope that things can change and be better.
A new year seems to be the perfect time to get a new start, whether it be organizing my home or making new healthy choices in my life. Yet I don’t have to wait for a new day, a new week, or even a new year. God gives me the opportunity for a fresh start every day. He gives me the opportunity to become new. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” He gives me a new nature and a new start when I place my trust in Him. Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV) says,”I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them.”
My refrigerator will start to lose its newness and no longer give me quite the same pleasure, but God tells us in Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV) that “his compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” It’s not just when I first accepted Him into my life that I became new. He knows my tendency to stumble along the way, and He provides for that. How exciting to know that, no matter what my mistakes or failures are, He makes me new daily.
I have learned that I can partner with God in this. Ephesians 4:22–24 teaches me to put off my old self, be made new, and put on the new self, created to be like God. There is hope for me. I can work hand-in-hand with God in becoming new. Even when I’ve failed miserably, God gives me the power to become what He wants me to be through His Spirit. Even after my refrigerator is no longer new, I can become new again!