5779 – A year of new things


5779September 17, 2018

Shalom Mishpochah,

We entered the New Year of 5779 last week and I wanted to give a few words to encourage you as we look forward to this year and what Adonai wants to accomplish in, through and for us.

One of the things I think about when I hear the word new is change.  I believe G-d wants us to embrace changes He will be bringing our way in this new year. These may not be drastic changes, but Adonai wants to stretch us a little this year and encourage us to step out of our comfort zone.  The writer of Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) tells us there is a time for every season. (3.1)  Step into the new season G-d is bringing your way with courage and excitement.

New also speaks to me of the passing of old things.  Adonai often calls us to remember His goodness and His mighty acts, but in the book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) He calls us to forget the things of the past that would hinder the new things He wants to do in our lives.  I have spoken many times from this passage, but I feel it is a good reminder to us as we enter into the new year of 5779.

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43.18-19 says, “Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by;  I am doing something new; it’s springing up – can’t you see it? I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland.”  Too many times we live in the past and in regrets wishing we had done things differently. The truth is we cannot change anything from our past.  We don’t have a time machine that would allow us to go back and make different decisions.  The past is the past. However, I believe Adonai wants to encourage us that the past doesn’t have to define our present and our future.

In fact, He challenges us to perceive the new things He is doing in our lives.  Open your eyes, it is right before you. Let go of the past and embrace the new people, positions, places, and opportunities He is bringing into your life.  There is so much awaiting you and me in this new year.

I love the last part of verse 19.  Adonai tells us He is making a road in the desert and rivers in the wasteland.  Friends, these words promise a break through and release in our lives.  The desert and wasteland represent dryness, lack, non-productivity, barrenness, and great pain.  G-d is already preparing a way for you through that desert and wasteland.  He has a path for us to walk through to the desert.  He is going to pour out rivers of living water that will refresh and restore our souls and our spirits.  Rivers that will bring new life and release to our pain.

In verse 4 of this chapter G-d tells Israel He is protecting them and bringing them through the difficult seasons for this reason – “I regard you as valued and honored, and because I love you.”  As you enter into 5779 know that you are highly valued and honored by your Creator and greatly loved.  He is bringing you out of the fires and the flood to a spacious place He has prepared for you.  It is a place of freedom.  It is a place of new life. He has a purpose and a plan for this new year – plans for good and not for evil.  Anticipate His move in your life.


Rabbi Carol Calise

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