Hidden Nuggets Series #70 – “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.'” – Genesis 12:1
The clock has turned on 2015 and once again a new year stares us in the face. Some relish this flipping of the calendar in anticipation of all that awaits them in the future. For others who experienced failure and multiple setbacks in the past year it’s simply a reminder they’ll have to start over. And lets face it, starting over is never easy to do.
Starting over is a big deal. However, sometimes we make it too big a deal. We get so worked up about the prospects of having to start from scratch that we can’t function. Our fear, worry and uncertainty about beginning again actually serves to hold us back. We get more overwhelmed than we probably should.
You may think your “starting-over moment” is the biggest deal in the world. I got news for you…it isn’t. We’ve all had a do-over moment where we swiped everything off the table and started with a clean slate.
But it’s fair to say your starting over moment is a big deal to you and well it should be. It’s your life. Just don’t become overwhelmed by the magnitude of it, believe you won’t succeed with it or that nobody understands what you are facing. Many have gone before you who had to start over and reaped rewards from their new life.
Bible Characters Who Faced Big Starting Over Challenges
I draw great encouragement on this issue in the pages of the Bible. We sometimes view the lives of Bible characters as working out perfectly when in reality they did not. They all faced the same life issues you and I do and were required to start over at some point. Consider these life issues and the people they impacted:
- On personal failure – Adam and Eve. What greater example could there be. Living an enchanted life in a perfect world in perfect fellowship with God only to see their sin destroy it all. God cast them out of the Garden of Eden for their failure and they had to start a new life on their own.
- On a catastrophic life (world) event – Noah. Imagine if God said the whole world would be destroyed and you and your family would be the only ones left on earth. Yikes! Talk about starting over. Could you handle such a life-changing event? Noah did and his family literally repopulated an entire world.
- On losing all his wealth and family – Job. Job went bankrupt AND lost all his children in a series of devastating events. From the ashes he cried out to God and was eventually restored.
- On moving – Abraham. God asked Abraham to leave the home and family he loved to journey to a new land where God was leading him. He didn’t know anyone there or where he’d build his house but trusted God would direct him.
- On being betrayed – Joseph. He really had it all, being the favorite son of his father. Yet when his ten older brothers turned on him, Joseph found himself living a new life as a slave in Egypt. It took time but God turned that horrid ordeal into a blessing as Joseph eventually rose to second in command of the entire kingdom and saved a nation.
- On accepting a new calling/job – Paul. Once the most devote Jewish leader, he forsook all the privileges that came with the position to embrace the Gospel message of Jesus. It was such a radical change many didn’t believe he had converted. Nonetheless, he helped launch a new movement termed Christianity despite all the persecution he would face.
I’m sure there are many others I could list who overcame insurmountable odds to prosper in and even enjoy their new life. There are some in your circle too who have put the past behind them and are making great strides. Take encouragement and learn from their efforts.
Embrace the newness of 2015 today.
Have the courage to stare down a do-over.
Don’t be overwhelmed by starting again. It can be done.
Have you ever faced a scary, fresh start in your life? How did you handle it? What helped you move forward? How did it end up turning out? What big plans do you have for 2015?
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