Read Isaiah 43:18-19
18 Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth,do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. (NRSV)
Loss is part of the human landscape. We lose someone we love,we lose an opportunity,we lose health,we lose a passion or a dream. This can cripple us. We get stuck in regret or even despair. We want so much to cling to what we once had or once dreamed of having. In doing so,we close our eyes and block our ears to what new work God might be doing.
The exiled Israelites needed to hear Isaiah’s word about this. Terrible things had happened to them,they had incurred great losses. But this was merely the end of one chapter in their story,not the end of the story itself. God would do a new thing: in this case restore them to their land and eventually send a Saviour for them and for the whole world.
We need not let pain or loss paralyse us. The desperation we feel at times can spur us on to endure what might seem unendurable in order that we might embrace the new thing in store for us. What we lost might,in a sense,be irretrievable. But that loss is not complete if we hold on to God’s promises of doing a new thing. This does not make mourning wrong or unnecessary. It simply means that we mourn our past losses while clinging to future hope.
We learn to eventually let go and embrace a new season. We learn to dream a different dream.