Spiritual Growth

2019 and the God of New Beginnings

As we near the end of our lives and glance back, the most disappointing things we see may not be the things we didn’t do so wonderfully; they may be the wonderful things we intended to do but never began.

by Gary Bower, author of The Beautiful Garden of Eden 

I am looking out the window of my Northern Michigan office, and the scene resembles the inside of a snow globe. The trees, swings, and clothesline poles that adorn my backyard look like they’ve been heavily sprinkled with powdered sugar; and the shrubs, rock garden, and minivan that surround my house are hunkering down under a blanket of pure white.

As I reminisce on thirty years, I remember a scene that was very different. No house, no barn, no shed, no clothesline, no landscaping. This two-and-a-half-acre patch was completely bare, with absolutely nothing to distinguish it from the surrounding acreage. But that all began to change one day when I tapped a few stakes into the ground and stretched a long string around them. Then I stepped against my shovel, plunging it deep into the sod. That first shovelful of dirt marked the beginning of what would become a whole new world for our family, which would eventually include twelve children and twenty-five grandchildren. As I soak in the scene today, it amazes me how this once-empty pastureland has been transformed into a magic kingdom of cookouts, parties, and memories.

Can you imagine how things appeared to God before He began to create His new world? Instead of white snow, there was nothing but darkness stretching in all directions. With no stakes, no string, no shovel or tools of any kind, He began His work. Using only the words He spoke, that which was nothing became everything that is. Light, water, sky, celestial bodies, fertile soil, lush vegetation, fascinating animals and, of course, us. It all began with the God of New Beginnings.

Approaching this brand new year, my squeaky clean 2019 calendar stares at me like a big, blank canvas. It is nothing more than a big sheet of empty boxes. Now I am assigned the task of beginning to fill those boxes. It’s an important task. I begin with the obvious things—birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and vacation days. That’s the easy part.

But what other things will 2019 hold for me? It won’t take long for all kinds of appointments to start filling many of those boxes. But wait . . . I have goals. Shouldn’t my calendar reflect those goals? And what about God? The Bible tells us He is a God that does “new things” (Isaiah 42:9; 43:19). Is it possible He might have something new for me on His agenda?

What if He wants to take me out of my comfort zone? What if He asks me to write a different kind of story than I’ve ever attempted before? Am I open to that? When we stare at blank pages, blank canvases, and blank landscapes, new beginnings can certainly be frightening. But the God of New Beginnings already knows what the final scene will look like, and He is eager to guide us step by step as we pray our way through the process. But it is up to us to be willing to begin.

What if He wants to take you on a totally new kind of adventure in 2019? A new ministry. A building project. A job in an arena that is foreign to you. Perhaps your new adventure may seem like a hundred-mile trek through treacherous mountains, or it may only seem like a slight detour through a meadow path. Whether your new adventure is extreme or mild, it all begins by saying, “I’m willing, Lord” and taking that first step, knowing that the God who made everything out of nothing goes before you, behind you, beside you, above you, and beneath you.

As we near the end of our lives and glance back, the most disappointing things we see may not be the things we didn’t do so wonderfully; they may be the wonderful things we intended to do but never began.

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. . . . But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah 43:16, 18–19, NLT).

The Beautiful Garden of Eden by Gary Bower

Help your child celebrate the wonder and power of the God of New Beginnings with the delightfully playful book The Beautiful Garden of Eden, from the Faith that God Built series.

The Faith that God Built series by Gary Bower uses the same whimsical style of storytelling as The House that Jack Built, using rhyme to introduce preschoolers through second graders to favorite Bible stories. Gary has a well-developed talent for creating engaging narratives that also teach biblical truths through rhyme.

The Beautiful Garden of Eden tells the story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, allowing sin to ruin what was perfect and beautiful.

Learn More HERE>>

Leela is the Media and Marketing Project Coordinator at Tyndale House Publishers. She was raised in Kansas City and has called Chicago home for the past five years. Leela works on the team to help coordinate advertising and media traffic. In her free time, she enjoys coffee shops, running and traveling with her husband.



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