I married an old man.
Joe Price was an old soul all of his life. He had “old” values and beliefs, loved old music, and loved old things–old trucks, old barns, old clothes (I challenge you to find a shirt he really loved that was not tattered, mended, threadbare, etc). He often joked that his love for old things extended even to me, as I was MUCH older than he!
On Friday, I came across a birthday card Joe gave me a year or so ago. Inside, he wrote: “I am looking forward to growing old with you. I’ll bet we will have a big time! But remember, you’ll always be older than me!”
In full disclosure, reading those words knocked my feet out from under me. In this roller coaster of emotions that has become my life, I found myself angry and heartbroken. So caught up in the word “old”, I spiraled down the rabbit hole of not getting to grow old with Joe, and how cruel it seemed that as much as Joe encompassed being an old soul, he would never actually get to be one.
Now, don’t park on these sentiments and get all worried about me. It was a moment. I felt the feelings and moved forward. I simply needed you to frame this week’s page from Joe’s leather notebook in the perspective of someone who found herself lost and longing for that which is old.
Ironically, his first lesson last year was not about the old; it was about the new.
January 5, 2020
Old and New
Isaiah 43: 18-19 states: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”.
Sometimes it is hard to let go of the old, but God just may want something new for us. It can be hard to let go of what we know or what is comfortable. Taking on something new can turn everything in our lives upside down.
For those who like change, new things can be exciting. For those who don’t really like change, new can cause discomfort. Personally, I am kind of a mix of both.
The wonderful thing about God is that he works outside of the box. He does not always work in the way we would have chosen. I once saw a church sign that read, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. I have often found that to be very true.
Our Heavenly Father sees the big picture that we cannot–He sees all that is going on behind the scenes. He even understands all those things that cause us to ask “why”. As we start out the new year, we can trust that God has our best in mind. He is with us right now, just as He will be with us down the road, no matter where that road may lead.
Sometimes that new brings what we see as blessings. Sometimes it brings loss and pain. Life happens. Decisions are made, we are faced with struggles, and sometimes we may even think that life is just not fair. But what I want you to know today is that you have a purpose. God is not finished with you yet.
God loves us. He cares for us, and He sees what we need. He works in our lives in ways that we do not always understand. Yet, we have peace in knowing that we do not have to understand. We only have to trust Him.
So, as we find ourselves in a new season and we look to find good in new and changing times, let us be confident in our God who is in control. Believe that He is working for you today…even when you just can’t see it.
Revelation 21:5: “Behold, I make all things new”.
Thanks to the sweetness and generosity of one of my dearest friends, I escaped to the beach this weekend and enjoyed some much needed time away. We laughed, we talked, we ate, we watched movies and relaxed. The rain kept us inside, but we were perfectly content to just be together. As we prepared to leave this morning, I walked out to see the shoreline once more. Honestly, at first sight, it was a little bit depressing. Dark and grey, cold and misty…I even watched as a lone black balloon tumbled down the sand in my direction. Sad as it may seem, I entertained the thought this little black balloon reminded me a whole lot of myself.
I turned to leave, and made it all the way to the top of the wooden steps across the dune, when something told me to go back. It had just started to sprinkle again, and although I didn’t really see point, I trudged back and stood, once again, in the sand.
Not two full minutes had passed, but the scene before me was very different. The little black balloon was nowhere to be found. A hole in the sky let the sun peek through. The clouds were still there, but they were no match for the sun.
It was still sprinkling on me where I stood. Not a downpour…just a little rain overhead…but not in front of me. Just over the horizon, the sun shone through the clouds…
Joe was right when he said that sometimes “new” turns our world upside down. Here I am, living proof of that. This is definitely not the road I would have chosen. However, Joe was also right when he said that God is in control. He is working for our good, even when we do not understand. We only have to trust Him. He sees what we cannot. While it may be raining on us right this minute, let us look toward the horizon. God is already there, pulling back the clouds for us, so that we may catch a glimpse of the sun.
“…See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
God made my sweet Joe new in a way that none of us can yet imagine. In doing so, He is making me new as well. If He will do that for me, friend, I promise He will do it for you, too.
Trust Him. Believe Him. No matter where this road may lead, God is ahead of you, making ALL THINGS NEW.
-Words of Wisdom from the Book of Joe.