Jesus Makes All Things New, But Will You Let Him?
The Easter Season is about resurrection. It is the perfect time to go to Jesus and ask Him to make things new. To give you new life. And He will, He wants to – but will you let Him? Sometimes we leave the door open just a crack, and peer out into the hallway as we cling to our old way of life, like a child clings to a blanket.
We all do it. We dwell in the past; we get stuck in our ways.
We want to change but we are afraid to do the work. Like the world-renowned philosopher-slash-cartoon phenom, Bart Simpson, once said to his father Homer about being on his best behavior, “I’ll TRY to TRY.”
We try to try, without taking the leap into full commitment. We are too afraid if we don’t do things the way we’ve always done them, things will unravel and fall apart. In effect, we know that’s just fancy talk for not fully trusting God, but we are humans after all, and fear is something we have to deal with in this life.
How do we deal with it? Well, prayer. But sometimes anxiety even sneaks into our prayers. Am I praying right? Did I say that the right way?
Mark Twain (who’s real name for those like-minded literary nerds out there was Samuel Clemens) once said something brilliant about habit that always stuck with me:
“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down-stairs one step at a time.”
Jesus wants to give us new life, but He isn’t going to turn you into a pro-athlete if you’ve been spending most of your days on the couch. He’s going to try to get you to take a little walk. God wants to meet us where we are at – and I finally find that refreshing. Because Jesus can be the only person in the world you can be completely and totally honest with, all of the time. And that’s where the relationship grows.
It’s not easy. I often think the hardest thing in the world might be to put all your trust in God. And yet, I’m called to do it, again and again.
If you want to make change, but you feel like Bart Simpson and you can only commit to a feeble attempt at maybe trying – then ask for the desire to change.
Ask God to show you the next right move. God wants to meet us where we are, and He knows us better than we know ourselves; we can’t edit who we are with Him.
A good friend of mine recently said this to me:
“God is so good all the time, and I know 100% it’s on me to do the work to have an actual relationship with Him.”
I told her that I had felt the presence of Jesus earlier that morning. It was almost like He was standing before me in my kitchen, and I immediately got teary eyed – which has become a strong indicator for me that God is trying to get my attention. Tears of Mercy and Healing, I’ve heard people say.
I had been doing the dishes and some unpleasant memory of my own sin came swooping in it seems, just as I was having a lovely day. And I couldn’t let it go. I kept trying to rationalize it away, pray it away, ask for forgiveness even though I have asked for forgiveness countless times. It was almost like I was letting the memory haunt me, and I hated the feeling, really.
Then I felt like Jesus stopped me in mid-thought. And all of a sudden it was like He was standing in front of me, kindly but seriously asking me: “Do you really think I died on the cross for your sins, so that you could dwell on them?”
No, I thought. No, I don’t.
And yet, I do it. I do dwell on the past.
The past can sneak up on any of us, at any given moment, like a bad movie scene replaying in our minds – except unfortunately it’s not a Hollywood film we’re remembering – it’s the things we are the most ashamed of slipping into our consciousness.
The famous poet, T.S. Eliot, in ‘Rhapsody of a Windy Night’, writes the beautiful and slightly tragic line, “Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium.” The night falls and people tend to re-live their worst mistakes, or wrestle with their worst fears. (A quick trick aside from prayer that I like to do at night before falling asleep, is try to list ten things that made me happy in the last 2 days.)
But no one is immune from dwelling – we can all get lost in the past, wanting to bring it back to life, or wanting to fix it. And we can’t.
But we can ask God to heal us, to give us new life. Silent prayer can also work wonders on a person’s life and peace of mind. There’s a book that really helped me about a year ago, called Time for God by Father Jacques Philippe, which goes deeper into the idea of silent prayer. It’s one of those books that gets highlighted endlessly and marked with my handwriting in the margins. And it’s short, but it’s dense. I highly, highly, recommend. It quite literally helped me start really talking to God.
We can also take this Easter Season to ask God to heal and strengthen our families. If you are holding on to resentment, or feel distanced from a spouse, or a sibling, pray about it! Ask God to help you; He is waiting for you to open the door to your heart and your mind.
Jesus died for our sins so that we could have eternal life. And He wants us to come to Him. If I had any life advice, to any Christian seeking change, it would be to talk to Jesus every day without editing yourself.
We are so loved, all of us. Mary is waiting too, for us to come to her – and the Rosary is a wonderful way to get closer to Mary, and to her Son, Our Lord, this Easter Season.
About Robyn Kenney
Robyn Kenney is a writer from Boston, MA, and is the Public Relations & Communications Specialist for Holy Cross Family Ministries. She is a graduate of Mount Ida College, in Newton, MA, with a B.A. in English and a focus in American Literature. Robyn has a background in videography and new media, and she is passionate about her faith, as well as her work in communications.