I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped, like a shabby old coat, at the door,
And never put on again.
I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be at the gates, like and old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail
We would find all the things we intended to do
But forgot, and remembered — too late,
Like praises unspoken, little promises broken,
And all of the thousands and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The day for one less fortunate.
It wouldn’t be possible not to be kind
In the Land of Beginning Again;
And the ones we misjudged and the ones whom we grudged
Their moments of victory here
Would feel in the grasp of our loving handclasp
More than penitent lips could explain.
For what had been hardest we’d know had been best,
And what had seemed loss would be gain;
For there isn’t a sting that will not take wing
When we’ve faced it and laughed it away;
And I think that the laughter, is most what we’re after
In the Land of Beginning Again!
These words by the obscure Hoosier poet Louisa Fletcher probably are a self-reflection of her often tumultuous life in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Fletcher speaks of issues we all face in life. Grief. Heartache. Injustice. Procrastination. Selfishness. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. And peace of mind.
Oh, to begin again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to that land? Well, there is such a place. The Bible provides this wonderful promise and the prospect of this joyous hope.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor 5:17).
There are at least three key points we learn from this simple verse.
(1) The importance of being “in Christ.”
The expression “in Christ” is found 87 times in the New Testament. We are baptized into Christ. Salvation is in Christ. We are one in Christ. We are established in Christ. We are partakers in Christ. And we rejoice in Christ.
Being in Christ marks the beginning of something wonderful, new and transformational. When we are “in Christ” we’ve entered the Land of Beginning Again.
(2) When we are in Christ, our old life becomes past tense.
We change. We’re no longer under Satan’s enslavement. Sin’s domination. And the world’s entanglement. We put off the sinful life of the “old person.” We are crucified with Christ and it is now He who lives in us. We truly are the resident of a new Land of Beginning Again.
(3) When we are in Christ, we enjoy a new life.
◆We enter a new relationship. It is a divine relationship with God as our Father, Jesus Christ as our mediator, and the Holy Spirit as our intercessor.
◆We are motivated by a new purpose. Our focus is now spiritual. And our aim is heavenward. And our goals are God-driven.
◆We develop a new attitude. It is the attitude of Christ. Submissive. Selfless. Servile. Sacrificial. And spiritual. (Phil. 2:5-8)
◆We acquire a new character. The character of Christ compels us. By growing in the fruit of the spirit and adding Christian virtues, we become a new person.
◆We engage in new actions. Our relationship, purpose, attitude, and character prompts us to live differently. To live soberly, righteously and godly. (Titus 2:11-14).
◆We receive new blessings. We are abundantly showered with spiritual blessings that are in Christ (Eph. 1:3; 3:20-21)
◆We are born into a new family. God’s family. A church Family. A spiritual Family. A family that will bear our burdens, share our joys, and encourage us to greater faithfulness.
◆We experience new pleasures. God’s pleasure becomes our pleasure. We find pleasure in worship, ministry, fellowship, discipleship, and evangelistic outreach.
◆We anticipate a new home. Heaven is the object of the Believer’s life. It is the goal. The ultimate attainment. The final reward. The eternal home of the soul.
The poet’s pensive dream is actually a spiritual reality. But the most incredible aspect of the Lord’s Land of Beginning Again is that it can be entered each day. We can’t laugh away our mistakes, but we can wash them away through the cleansing blood of Jesus. Daily renewal is possible as we repent of our wrongs, confess our sins and walk in His light (1 Jn 1:7-10).
Come. It’s a real place. Enter the land of Beginning Again.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman