After the final judgement in Revelations 20, in Revelations 21 it speaks of God creating a new heaven and a new earth. Verse 5 says “And the one seated on the throne said: ‘Behold! I am making all things new!’”
At the beginning of every new year, just about everyone lives this out in their own lives. We look at the year that has past, make a list of things that we want to leave behind, and resolve to make a fresh start, to make all things new. It is the time of year people set out to make a “new me”, a “better me”.
So we charge headstrong into the new year, full of the resolve that this year, this time, we’ll be successful in making the same changes we resolved to make last year. But all too often we fail at making our life changes permanent, despite starting off with the best of intentions. When we falter or fail, we give it a few more attempts and settle back into our old ways.
Maybe we pray to God and ask for His help when we get stuck, but still wind up failing in our resolutions. This can truly be discouraging, especially when we pray for something as simple as strength or guidance so that we can be successful in making positive changes in our lives. It’s easy to sometimes feel like God isn’t listening.
Ever hear this from your child: “I talk to God, but I don’t hear Him talk back.” Ever think this yourself? It’s an obvious statement. And a sincere one. So often our relationship with God can feel one-sided. We pray, we receive the Eucharist, we hear Biblical stories of God speaking to Moses in the burning bush or sending an angel to speak to Mary, and it’s easy to think, “Why don’t I hear God? Why doesn’t He speak to me?”
These moments of spiritual doubt may start off as innocently as a child’s thought. But they are the beginning moments of spiritual warfare. It is times like these, when we have these thoughts, that we are most vulnerable to the temptation of questioning our faith, of questioning what we really believe. These seeds of doubt find fertile ground in our souls when we start to think that God is far away, that He has forgotten us, or that He isn’t listening. These seeds of doubt begin to grow when we forget that God isn’t an ATM machine, where we put prayers in and get miracles out.
God isn’t far away. He’s not only available on Sundays at Mass. He is always as close as your Bible. His words are always there for us, to teach us, to comfort us, to inspire us, to strengthen us, and to guide us. At every point in our lives, no matter what is going on, God is here with us. His words are there for us to discover, their meaning just waiting to be revealed as we read them. With God’s words in you, the Holy Spirit can work through you, so that you can make all things new.
We speak to God through prayer; He speaks to us through the Bible. God is speaking to you. He is talking to you. Are you listening?