For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
It’s a new year.
As the world makes resolutions to change old habits, I’ve been waiting in the wasteland for God to do something new. I don’t quite see “it” yet, but my spirit knows that He’s making a pathway through the wilderness. As I continue to seek His will for my life, my corrective lenses are beginning to focus on His Kingdom, instead of my own. Perhaps that’s just “it.” Perhaps the key element in seeing what He’s already begun is just a slight shift of focus away from the old things. Perhaps simply looking up changes my sight.
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
I didn’t deny or neglect the wasteland, however. Instead, I chose to trust God and go THROUGH it with Him. It was barren. It was hot. I felt isolated. I felt abandoned. I longed for refreshing. I lacked patience. I was angry. I expressed grief. Some judged me. Others accused me. But I discovered a powerful truth that has become a rock on which I stand:
Jesus was with me.
And He is with me still.
When I was thirsty, He gave me a drink.
When I was afraid, He protected me.
When I felt alone, He comforted me.
Without the wilderness, I wouldn’t have known Him in a deeper way.
Without the wasteland, I wouldn’t have known the need for the river.
Without going back to the old things, I wouldn’t be looking forward to something new!
This week, after following the advice of a friend, I decided to change our internet provider. Somewhat begrudgingly I chose to go with something new, which meant I was also going to have to get rid of the old. New email addresses had to be created. Passwords had to be updated. Promotions had to be surveyed. Phone calls had to be made. Appointments had to be scheduled. A technician had to make a house call. Cable jacks had to be installed. Chords had to be unplugged and re-routed. Furniture had to be moved. New Wi-Fi passwords had to be entered. Old passwords had to be deleted. Services had to be installed. Services had to be cancelled. And of course, bills had to be paid.
Out with the old, in with the new.
Was it worth it?
It wasn’t open-heart surgery. None of it was hard to do. But it did take time, talent and treasure to get it done.
By embracing the new, rivers were created in the wasteland: no more buffering, no more loading, no more re-setting the router, no more lost signals!!!!
Newer. Faster. Cheaper.
Of course it was all worth it.
And so it is in the Kingdom of God. He exchanges death for life. Bondage for freedom. Beauty for ashes. Strength for fear. Gladness for mourning. Peace for despair.
Old for new.
Are you in a wilderness, my friend? Ask the Lord to show you where He is. And chose to stay with Him for as long as it takes to see Him create rivers in the dry wasteland.
It’ll be worth it.
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.