New For Old

Have you ever made do when, say, an appliance was on its last legs or done a temporary repair job to avoid buying a new one?

When we moved into our current house 34 years ago we inherited a large shed, so I didn’t know how old it was. I replaced the roof and re-felted it but over time leaks appeared which rotted the wood in places.

I tried patching it up but I reached the stage where I either needed a new roof or a new shed! Eventually in 2018 I did buy a new shed and am now so grateful I did.

This got me thinking about how we try to patch up problems and cover over the cracks, as well as issues in our lives, when we really need a fresh new start instead.

When He was speaking to the Pharisees Jesus said, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth onto an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” Matthew 9:16-17.

What is Jesus saying here? That old ways cannot be made new and if we try, it will only end in disaster.

I think we all know that the past is the past and there is nothing we can do to change what has happened. However, we still can have a say about making changes today that will affect the future and our destiny.

The Bible makes abundantly clear our status before God. Isaiah summed it up when he wrote, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweeps us away” Isaiah 64:6.

So how do we change and have a fresh start? Is it something to embrace or shy away from?

Winston Churchill said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”.

Reinhold Niebuhr said, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

And I came across this saying: ‘Not grow colder as we grow older, but stronger as we live longer’.

As C S Lewis said, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad”.

So who are we going to trust to make the change?

In Jesus’s hands we’ll be safe and secure, for today, tomorrow and for eternity. He can walk into those places of sin and failure, wipe the slate clean and give us a new beginning.

So why not make the change? You’ll never regret it.

Rodney Martin