Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Path out of a Wasteland: Isaiah 43: 18-19

Nothing is more powerful than God’s Word. It transforms us – if we lift its truths off the page and into our lives. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite verses and those of friends and family. I pray that, as you read how His Word has ministered to us, you'll find a favorite of your own.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I [the Lord] am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

This verse has encouraged me through many a hard time
We’ve all walked through a desert or been lost in a wasteland.

We’re parched with hopelessness and fear.

Look at those words: See, I am doing a new thing!

God is with us; He is at work.

He holds out a new tomorrow, if we trust Him.

He promises to guide us along paths of hope and to fill us with confidence in His presence.

He brings us to streams that quench our thirst and renew our strength.

He's in control and He has a plan to redeem our future.

These words assure us that we're never alone, never abandoned, never forgotten. He is with us, to guide and nourish us, no matter our circumstances.

But, wait a minute.

What’s that bothersome first part:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

God’s promises depend on our willingness to walk with Him.

Sometimes we pitch our tents in “yesterday.” We choose to live there – tents don’t pitch themselves.

We love our pity parties.
We long for the “good-ole-days.” 

That’s where I’ve been the last couple years – camped out in yesterday. I carefully hung pictures on the walls of my heart: scenes of wonderful times, portraits of friends and family I left behind.

I didn’t want to be content in my new home. I refused to be happy. I just wanted to go back to yesterday.

(Isn’t that a Beatles song? Yesterday…all my troubles seemed so far away…)

There’s a key question in those verses:

Do you not perceive it?

I was blind to the things God was doing.
I kept my feet planted and refused to walk down His path.

There were refreshing streams running right by my tent and I refused to see them.
And I wondered why I was miserable!

When I finally chose to trust Him, He opened my eyes and I was amazed at what I saw.

My life is busy, full of things I love to do.

Weekly Bible study with a godly group of ladies, a morning filled with wisdom and laughter.

Part of a team that works to improve our libraries and how they serve the community.

I’m even involved in the Garden Club – a fact that stuns everyone who knows me.

And, most important, a church home where people accept me and Charlie with love.

And friends? Boy, do I have friends! I’ve got new friends everywhere. Friends to have fun with and to pray with.

Why didn’t I see the joy in my life before now?

I was clinging to yesterday with both hands, burying my face in the past.

The truth is, we can’t see the new things God's doing as long as our eyes are fixed on yesterday.

His paths of guidance run right in front of us.

His streams of refreshment flow right beside us.

How I praise God for His amazing love. He continued to minister to me even in my blind stubbornness.

Praise God He’s led me into the joys of today!

When has God encouraged you when you were stumbling through a wasteland?
Photo Credit 1: mdurinik
Photo Credit 2: blackregis2

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