“Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive it and know it, and will you not give heed to it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Over the past six months, our world has experienced difficulties and challenges that leave us feeling like wanderers in the wilderness. Loss of social interaction, jobs, finances, education, common necessities, and visits with loved ones bring disengagement, discouragement, and depression. We have lost a way of life. We have lost the rhythm of our days. As much as we complained previously about the “rat race,” the lack of time, and the chaos of busy schedules, we really don’t know how to act when the structure of our days is taken away.
We began March with positive attitudes. We encouraged ourselves and others with popular ideas. We’ll just take a few weeks and stamp out this virus. It will be gone, and things will get back to normal. We can all use a break. We’ll enjoy this family time. A few weeks of missed school won’t hurt the kids. But as March turned to April and April pushed on to August, we found it more difficult to hold on to positive attitudes.
It’s hard to be positive when we don’t see solutions. We have not only lost our routines and connections, but we feel as though we are losing our country as the media focuses on anger, destruction, negativity, and loss. Even more, we may feel we have lost our church. We cry out to God. We pray for a return to “normal.” We are tired of waiting. We want out of the wilderness. We want our lives back. We want to take control.
But we don’t have to be discouraged by the wilderness. God makes a way in the wilderness. He provides streams in the desert. He takes old things and He makes them new.
God is Doing a New Thing
We are experiencing many new things these days—some of them good and some not so good. But we need to encourage one another to keep the faith. God has not lost control. And His Word tells us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is doing a new thing. It is beginning. He is birthing it. It is about to spring forth.
I don’t mean to make light of the fact that there are truly overwhelming challenges. But can we take our eyes off the situation for a moment and remember that we have a God who is bigger than any pandemic? We have a God who has unending resources. We have a God who is not caught by surprise, and we have a God Who has a plan. A plan for each and every person, family, and student.
What is He Birthing in Your Life?
As a teacher, I think about education. The pandemic has forced everyone to take a different look at how we instruct our students. It is especially challenging for parents. It is difficult to embrace change that is thrust upon us. But perhaps God is doing a new thing?
As I contemplated God’s plan for my life this fall, I expected to work full time on writing and get my new book published by the end of 2020. And though that may still happen, God has suddenly taken me in a new direction.
As the school year approached, I helped my youngest daughter and her husband seek the best education solution for her two boys this fall. After much soul-searching, they decided to homeschool for the foreseeable future. He is a teacher who had been laid off. She was and is working from home. It made sense for their family right now to create their own schedule. I assisted in by locating and organizing curriculum. And then, just this week, her husband was called back to work full time. So now, I will be homeschooling my grandsons.
That wasn’t my plan. It wasn’t my daughter’s plan. But God knew. And He is leading us as we seek a new routine. I am happy to be helping out. God is birthing a new season in my life to spend more quality time with my grandchildren.
Maybe God is birthing something new in you and for you? it may be in regard to educating your children, or it may be something totally different, but God has known all along. He is not surprised. And His plan is a better plan. It’s springing forth. What will you do with it?
Embracing the New
How can we embrace the new thing God is doing? The question in Isaiah 43:19 asks us three things.
The first question is Do you see it? We have to perceive. We have to get our eyes on this something new. Can you SEE it? Can you recognize this new thing God is doing? If we don’t recognize it, we can’t embrace it. I have embraced coming out of retirement to teach my grandsons. I am getting excited about it. For however long God leads me, this will be my new purpose.
The second question is, Do you KNOW it? Do you feel it in your knower, your gut? Do you believe with all your heart that it’s happening? Are you speaking out in faith, waiting expectantly to SEE this new thing you KNOW God is doing? Maybe you can’t define it yet, maybe all you see is wilderness. But sit with God and let Him speak. Let the plan unfold.
I did a lot of praying before I took on homeschooling as a commitment. I don’t want to start something I cannot finish. But, I know in my knower that this is where God wants me right now. And as I walk into His plan, He will strengthen me and provide all that I need to do it.
Once you see God’s plan and know it, will you HEED it? Are you giving it careful thought, concentrating, paying attention, being watchful, respecting it, observing it deliberately? Watching for the signs? Are you following and doing your part? Are you moving forward in faith?
God Makes a Way – One Step at a Time
I’m taking one step at a time. I haven’t even started the teaching yet. I have only been preparing. I have purchased curriculum, talked to my daughter about setting up a home classroom, determined a workable schedule, and adjusted other things in my life, like my business and writing, to fit into this new schedule.
God is making a way in the wilderness. Can you see it? Will you follow it? God is making a way, a plan, a path, a road. When we cannot see, God is there to shine the light. He shows us each step. And you know what else is on that road? Resources. God’s resources. Rivers in a desert—water, life sustenance. Everything we need for success.
Forget the Old
How? How can we see, know, and heed this new thing God is doing? We place our eyes and hearts on the new thing by forgetting about the old things. We forget about the past. We stop dwelling on old ways. We embrace a new future.
The new thing will be better. God birthed it FOR you. God birthed it IN you. The new thing will take you on a path out of the wilderness and into the light.
What is God birthing in and for you? Can you see it? Do you know it? Will you heed it? Whether it’s a plan for your children’s education or a new project or ministry you are excited about, God has made all things new. Grab onto His plan. Embrace it. Forget the old. Walk out of the wilderness onto the new path set before you. God has made a way.
. . .Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
What new thing is He doing in your life? I’d love to hear about it.