“Do not remember the former things…” is not so much forgetting the captivity of the past as it is putting the past in its rightful place. The things we have done or left undone or the things done to us or not done for us are former things and have no power except the power we give them whenever former things prevent us from perceiving present things. Not that we don’t continue to create former things in our present. It is an odd sort of thing that we often prefer captivity to freedom so that even when a new thing springs forth we slip back into the more familiar patterns of former things. That is why this new thing that springs forth begins with a promise. “Do not be afraid. I have called you by name. You are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) God makes a way in the wilderness for us, maybe in spite of us, with the hope that one day we would leave the illusion of comfort in captivity to live as those known and named by God. “God has made a new beginning from the ashes of our past; in the losing and the winning we hold fast.” (J. Ylvisaker) The threatening things are extinguished, the wild things are tamed, the crooked things are made straight, the difficult things brought down and the rare resource of water in a desolate and dry place gushes forth in abundance. Every day lived in the promise of God’s abiding and healing presence is the new day that springs forth so that the siren call of former things might be drowned out by the sound of praise.