Isaiah 43: 16 -21
“Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick; Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”
Imagine you’re “the people of God” living in exile under a foreign ruler, stripped of your identity, your home. You talk of the “good ol’ days” when your God led your people out of Egypt, out of slavery, promising to bring you into the promised land, filling your days with signs and wonders of His presence, manna from heaven, that became so commonplace that you even talk of how your people could’ve rebelled at such power revealed when now those moments of glory seem so far away. Ahhh, the days when God showed up, when His presence was mighty and powerful and the nations around your people trembled at the power of your God. Those were the “good ol’ days”. But that was then and this is now and it’s different. He doesn’t work the same… or does He?
I look at the people of Israel and often wonder how they could question for an instant God’s presence with them, that He is the same God He was to them in Egypt, in their wanderings as He is in their captivity. But then I look at my own life and I see how quickly I can look to the past and think myself of the “good ol’ days” of God’s presence. In seasons of great darkness it is far to easy to look behind and remember the mountaintop moments of faith, the times when I saw God show up in dramatic ways, changing my life and the lives of those around me and it was exciting and exhilarating and everything my heart thought the adventure of walking with Jesus would be. And then the “adventure” begins to look much different. What now? Where are my mountaintop moments? I seem to be stuck in a valley that holds no “adventure” as I’ve defined it in my earlier years as a believer. When all over scripture God calls us to remember, to not forget what He has done, to “let each generation tell it’s children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power” (Psalm 145:5), why would He tell the Israelites “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old”? This statement struck me as I was reading it so I did a little research to discover the situation the Israelites were in, stuck in captivity, reflecting on God’s work for their people in the past tense and forgetting that He was still at work in their present tense.
As I’ve looked to Dasah’s arrival I’ve found myself thinking of Sophie’s life, her birth, and all the events surrounding that season that seemed so intimately and intricately orchestrated that I would have been a fool to think that God was not in each and every moment of Sophie’s life and arrival. He made it so clear. And somehow, just as remembering those moments has brought confidence in His power to work now, it has also brought fear. Will you still work in every detail God? This road seems so much darker, so much heavier, are you still the same God? The same God who brought me to places of such joy and adventure in my younger years as a Christian? The same God who walked me through what I thought would be the darkest season of my life with our firstborn daughter and brought such celebration and joy in the midst of sorrow? Are you the same TODAY?
Yes, a thousand times YES! That is what God is telling His people in Isaiah. It’s as if He’s saying “Stop dwelling on the past as if those were the ONLY days of my Glory.”
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
A new thing. A new part of His story for our lives. Yes, still He is making a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. And yes, it will look different then how it looked before. Because He is doing a NEW THING. NEW. Watch for it. Wait for it. Anticipate the newness of what He wants to do in your life IN THIS season, whatever THIS season holds. It will look different then the last season and different then the season after this season. The Israelites were in a great season of doubt, wondering if God would intervene again, wondering if they had rebelled just one too many times, would He still come for them? And God speaks to their hearts and He speaks to our hearts. “I am moving, I’m at work, even in the darkest of times, do not dwell on the past as if those are the only times I will show up in might and power, I will show up in might and power now and in the future and how you will see and experience it will be in ways you have never seen before.”
So, I’m asking the Lord to help me trust Him for this new story that He is and will continue to unfold with Dasah’s life and our lives. There may be similarities to Sophie’s story, but there will be new things He has for us and will have for us that are unique to our story with Dasah. I’ve seen Him “make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” with Sophie and now I’m asking Him to help me trust how He will “make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” in this new season with Dasah. It will be different, but He will still make a way.
BEHOLD, I AM DOING A NEW THING
Questions for Reflection
- In what ways do you, like the Israelites, look at the past as the “good ol’ days” forgetting that God’s presence today is just as real for you as it was back when the days seemed brighter?
- What “new things” is God doing in your life today?
- Where is He asking you to trust Him to “make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”?
Tomorrow’s Passage (Day 9)
Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10
Also… I’m loving this new song by Chris Tomlin…
Our God still ROARS