- Rhonda Kelley
My Word for 2020 … NEW
As a new year dawned, I naturally reflected on the challenges and blessings of 2019 while looking ahead with eager anticipation to God’s plan for 2020. Like many people, I often choose a word for the year to guide me spiritually and focus me personally. One word kept coming to my mind … NEW. A simple three letter word that can be exciting or frightening. Why NEW I kept asking the Lord? Why not NEW He kept replying. Afterall, I have so many NEW things in my life as a NEW Year begins.
I began 2019 in a cancer battle as I faced 33 radiation treatments and 7 chemotherapy infusions for salivary gland cancer. Praise the Lord that I am cancer-free a year later. But, I have NEW doctors, NEW tests, NEW medicines, NEW tastes, and even NEW hair texture. On July 31, 2019, my husband retired as President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary after 23 years. I grew up in New Orleans, and we have been living there and on the campus of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for 44 of our 45 years of marriage. While we have an apartment on campus, our primary residence now is in Fairhope, Alabama. So, I have a NEW home, NEW town, NEW church, NEW neighbors, and NEW chapter.
There are many familiar sayings with the word NEW: “Turn over a NEW leaf.” “Out with the old, in with the NEW.” “As good as NEW.” “You can’t teach an old dog NEW tricks.” “There’s nothing NEW under the sun.” So, what do these NEW statements mean to me in 2020? I am NEW spiritually, have a NEW calling, NEW ministry, and NEW season of life. I have a reNEWed faith, reNEWed commitment, and reNEWed passion. So, since I have turned over a NEW leaf, I pray the Lord will teach this old dog some NEW tricks!
The Bible uses the word NEW in the Old and NEW Testaments: The Lord will give us “a NEW song” (Ps. 33:3; Isa.42:10), He declares “NEW things in our lives” (Isa. 42:9; Jer. 31:22), and He promises “a NEW heaven and a NEW earth” (Isa. 65:17). In the NEW Testament, Jesus is the NEW covenant which provides for our salvation (Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 11:25). He gives us a NEW commandment (John 13:34; 1 John 2:8), He makes us NEW creations (2 Cor. 5:17), and He makes all things NEW (Rev. 21:5). With those promises from Scripture in mind, I embrace the NEW year of 2020 without fear, with excitement about God’s perfect plans.
What about you? Are you facing NEW challenges this year? Are NEW experiences overwhelming you? Just remember, the NEW blessings that God wants to pour out on you as you follow Him in faith and obedience. Let’s claim together, “Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become NEW” (2 Cor. 5:17). God wants 2020 to be the best year yet of your life and mine!!