The scariness of the ‘new’

The scariness of the ‘new’

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5)

Sometimes it can feel as if we are obsessed with everything new. The latest phone becomes the new ‘must have’ item, new movies are trending and new series have new episodes to watch and discuss. We have a 24/7 rolling news culture that breaks news when it happens. New is everywhere and everything new seems to be in fashion.

But at the same time, new can also be scary. Most people don’t like change and even those who embrace change want some things to be constant and stable in their lives. Striving for the new thing can feel as if the ground is continually shifting under your feet and nothing ever stands still. New is fun, certainly, but it can also be unsettling, uncertain and unstable.

So what are we to make of some of the closing words of the Bible? In Revelation 21, John comes towards the end of his vision and returns to the throne room of God when the book started. There God speaks to him from the throne saying, “I am making everything new!”

These might not seem like encouraging words from the Lord Almighty. I can cope with a few new things, but everything new? That seems a bit too much to handle. God, do you need to make everything new? Can’t some things stay the same?

If we find change scary and new things a bit much, then take heart. As God promises to make everything new, there are some things that stay the same. Immediately afterwards, we read:

Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

God’s words are trustworthy and true. That does not change. That is solid and dependable. The unchanging trustworthiness of the word of God comes from the character of God. God’s nature does not change. He himself is solid and dependable, he himself is trustworthy and true.

When the world around us seems uncertain and changeable (as it certainly does at the moment) this is the sure foundation upon which we stand. God is trustworthy and true, and what he says is trustworthy and true. He is in the business of making everything new. But he is not doing this just for the sake of something new. He is making and re-making everything, renewing it all to reflect his nature and character. When God makes everything new, it is in the light of his unchanging nature and purpose. When you look at it like that, new doesn’t seem quite so scary after all.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash