The prophet Isaiah is encouraging God's people to trust fully, despite the circumstances. He's been saying, "God is with you! You have nothing to fear!" (Isaiah 43:1-3). You see, there's some rough stuff coming Israel's way. And Isaiah is telling them that though it's going to be hard and painful, God will deliver them.
He reminds them of who God is and what God has done (43:16-19). How God has fought for them and delivered them in the past. He reminds them of perhaps the greatest story of their history. How God made a way through the sea, a path through the might waters, how he drew out the chariots and horses of their attackers and snuffed them out like a wick.
And then, once they've got all that in their minds, the prophet says an interesting thing: Forget it!
"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."
So ... Remember! Look back, learn what you must learn, derive courage and hope from who God is and what He's done. But then ... let it go!
And when he says "Forget about it!" he's referring to more than just their past triumphs. He's speaking of the past failures as well. "Do not dwell in the past," the God says through the prophet.
Why? Because "I'm doing a new thing!" Can you see it? Cuz if you're looking in the rear view mirror, you may not notice it. If you're stuck in what has been, you may not perceive it.
See, THEN I made a way through the sea. But this is not the sea ... this is the desert.
That was GREAT! But this is different ... Are you ready for new?
As we enter 2011, I believe that God wants to do something new things in my life, and in your life too. What has been was great. (Or maybe not so much.) But that was then. Will you look back, learn from ... then, let go (of the good AND the bad) and lean forward into what God has for your life this year?