Beginning – Most dictionaries agree that this is the point at which an activity starts; for example, conception of a baby in the womb is the point at which human life begins. Apart from God, everything else in life has a beginning and an end. In Gen 1:1 we read that: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, yet of God Himself we read in Psalm 90:2 and Rev.22:13, something completely different:
Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
It is a paradox that even though God is the Originator of life and scripture calls Him the beginning and the end, His children begin and end many things without any thought of involving Him at all! Because He is the Creator and existed before anything else ever did, it is wise to consult Him for direction whenever we have thoughts of beginning or ending any activity. Often times when we go ahead on our own, things may likely turn out other than we expected, bringing an activity abruptly to a standstill or to an unexpected end altogether. In such a case, in order for the original goal to be achieved or for something else to be birthed, it becomes necessary for the one(s) concerned to try again.
From the Macmillan dictionary we read that when something has to begin again, it does so at the point at which it was interrupted. Thesaurus.com, says that the term ‘begin again’ can also be referred to as: re-begin, begin anew, start from scratch, make a fresh start, wipe the slate clean, go back to the drawing board etc.
Hitting a dead end can be very disheartening, when one thinks of starting all over again! It may seem as though all is lost, especially considering the effort and investment in terms of time and other resources put in. Even with such a set back, it is worth noting that if the desired goal is to be achieved, giving up cannot be an option! One may need encouragement to relook at the whole process, come up with options of giving it another go, even if it may mean from a different angle! The two examples below illustrate this point.
In chapter 18 of the book of Jeremiah, God sends the prophet to the potter’s house to observe him working at the wheel. As he watched the work going on, Jeremiah noticed that when the vessel did not turn out the way the potter wanted, he remade it into a desired shape, which was different from the previous one.
Another case is that of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples – during the greatest trial of his Master’s life, he denied Him and felt like the worst of all failures. After considering all the odds, it seemed that the only option was to give up on the Ministry and return to his old trade of fishing! After His resurrection though, Jesus looked beyond Peter’s flaws and not only re-instated him, but also gave him a leading role in the ongoing Ministry which the disciples thought had come to an end. We can read the account in Jn. 21: 15-19
Peter ended up as the initial leader of the Apostles whom God used greatly in the New Testament church, especially with the coming of the Holy Spirit. If he had rejected the Master’s offer and insisted on giving up because of feeling like a failure, we would have missed on quite a bit of the book of Acts and the Epistles that he wrote!
In the same way, God’s children may find themselves falling short of their desired goal, and in their great disappointment feel like quitting. When this happens, we should remember that, just as with Peter, the Master extends His grace to grant those who feel this way the opportunity to begin again in order to fulfil His mandate for their lives. It is important that we too extend God’s grace, the needed understanding and support where necessary to each other whenever an individual needs to begin again. Even though having to begin again may at times appear to be a great set back, if we surrender to His leading, God is able to turn it into a set up that leads instead to an amazing journey with Him towards the desired goal.