“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
The first time I read this verse, many years ago, I was sitting in a prayer meeting pleading with God to pull me out of a situation I was in. As I knelt on the flooring, praying and begging for God to do something, I felt the words “I am doing a new thing” stir in my spirit. The words gave me pause, so I got up, went to the back of the church and googled where “I am doing a new thing” appears in the bible. When this verse came up and I read it in full, my repsonse was to look up (literally!) and say outloud, “no, God, I don’t see it. If I did, I wouldn’t be asking!” Clearly, I have a bit of an impatient attitude, which God knows of, because His response was, “just be still.” Two years later, years that felt like an eternity, God released me from the situation and led me on a path I had never imagined.
God, in His wisdom and grace and creativeness, created a story for me that was beyond what I could have imagined. Not from lack of trying on my part, I’ll add. As I spent years praying and asking God to move, I imagined what things should look like and even tried to instruct God. Like He needed my help. Bless. Despite all my prayers and pleas and suggestions, God had a different plan. A better plan. And He used my situation to refine me and prepare me for what was to come.
The challenges that I was dealing with at the time, became what I ministered out of.
The depth of pain and heartache that I felt allowed me to empathise with others that would follow.
I was able to share my experiences and my hope with those that sang the same broken song that I had.
Looking back now, I can see what I couldn’t at the time; God was weaving a story that pointed to His glory and I had the priviledge of playing a small part in it. At the time, I felt like I was the star of the show and it was all about my pain and my experiences and my dreams. But I can look back now and see that it wasn’t about me at all. It was about Jesus. It was about using my story for His glory. All that has happened, and all that will happen in the future, is to glorify Him, not magnify me.
And as I stand at a new junction, waiting for God to direct my steps, I feel those whispers stiring in my spirit again, “behold, I do a new thing. Do you not see it?” God is once again doing something new in my life. He is once again writing a new story that He will use for His glory. Whilst I know what part of the story will look like, I can’t see it all. But I can feel it. I can feel that God is going to do something new and incredible and once again, He will bring about something that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. Because that is who God is; He is the God of new and beautiful things. He is the God that gives us beauty for our ashes (Isaiah 61:3). And as hard as it is, I am determined to try and not imagine what it will look like. I am hopeful and expectant.
Am I nervous and uncertain at times? Absolutely. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. But after years of walking with Jesus, I am learning more of who my God is and He is faithful.
I am confident that He will make a way in the wilderness. He will make streams in the wasteland.
Because he has done it before, and He will do it again. He wrote a beautiful story for me before, and He will write another one again. He leads me with His perfect and pure love. And so when fear and uncertainty start to vie for primary position in my heart, I will remind myself of His perfect love. Of His kindness. Of His faithfulness. I will hold onto His promises and wait with anticipation and excitemement as He prepares something new for me.
And He will do it for you, too. Because that is who He is. A God that created us for commuinion with Him. A heavenly Father that cares and loves us. Believe that. Hold onto it because it is in His Word and it is true. The God that loved you enough to die for you, loves you too much to not make a way for you. Whether you are in the desert or in the wilderness, He will make a way for you. And He will be with you every step of the way.