It has become such a common phrase. Thank you Lord that I am not who I used to be. Let me get a hallelujah for every time we have thought that. I know that I am especially thankful that in Christ we are a new creation. Let’s talk for a moment about how we define a new creation. It’s the perfect version of you, right? The best version of everything you ever thought you would be? From the day you started hanging with Jesus, you have been nice, kind, patient, clever and wise, full of joy and generosity at every turn —right? If that is the image you see in the mirror, then I need to be sittin’ next to you at the lunch table because my reflection looks very little like what I thought a new creation might look like. Yes, I have been give a new life. Yes, I have a hope and a joy and a future. But also, yes, I am sometimes grumpy. Yes, I sometimes snap at my sweet hubby or kiddos. Yes, sometimes I spend more time in worry about my future than I do in hope. And yes, God knows every bit of that and still loves me.
Because, new creation or not, we still live in this world with all its heartaches and disappointments and we are still in a war with an enemy who knows how very human we are. Guess what? The fact that we are human and we do mess up and we do get sidetracked and distracted is not a surprise to God. In fact, I think it is exactly why we are called to renew and transform ourselves, because He already knows that our hearts need a little recreation every single day. For not long after we showed up here, we started building a nice little shell for ourselves to protect and hide away so many things. Then we spend the rest of our lives trying to get back out of that shell to become who we were originally created to be. We spend out lives trying to recapture the beauty and purpose He already designed in us.
But here is the good news. It is not a complete do-over every day. I think some of it sticks. That is why you can look back and say thank God I am not who I used to be—because it is actually true. More good news, you are also not there yet! No matter how bad today was, it is not the end of the journey, just a step.
So, today I am thankful that I am not who I used to be . . . but I also can’t wait to see who I become as He molds me and shapes me and teaches me. Today I am thankful He is not done with me yet. The reflection He sees is so much better than the one I see. He wants me to get there and see it too, no matter how many times I stumble along the way. Now that deserves a hallelujah.