It seems that I’ve spent the last few years waiting for God. It’s been hard. Patience doesn’t come easily for me. I just want to do something, ANYTHING, to get from where I am, to where I want to be. But God said, wait. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Until I thought God would never give me the green light to move forward with all that He has for me to do. And finally I got it…the green light I’ve been waiting so long for!
Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness,
And rivers in the desert.
God gave me this verse recently to say, “Now is the time, go for it!” This new thing that God wants to do in my life means taking action and putting myself out there, something that I’ve been longing to do, but now it seems so scary. Will it work? Will I succeed? Or will I fall flat on my face? Whatever happens, I know I have to trust God and follow His plan.
But God doesn’t just want to do something new in my life. He wants to do something new in yours too!
Do not remember the former things…
Let’s face it, we all have a past. And it probably has a few things in it that we’d rather not think about or share with the rest of the world. But that’s okay because God is giving us permission to let go of those hurts and disappointments from the past. So, whatever hardships you’ve endured up until now, take them to God and leave them at His feet. It’s okay to forget them and move on.
Behold, I will do a new thing…
God has something new in store for us! Something greater than we can even image! But we have to be willing to accept this new thing and take action to achieve it. God doesn’t expect us to be spectators in our own lives, He wants us to participate fully in this new thing and see it through to fruition. I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it too. Taking action is hard. I feels unnatural and like I’m setting myself up for a big letdown. But this is where it gets good, because God continues on…
Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?…
Spring is finally here. And with it comes the beautiful blooming flowers and budding trees. All winter long these flowers and trees have been there resting, taking root and waiting for the right time to spring forth. We’re just like these flowers and trees. We’ve been waiting, praying and letting God’s Word take root in our hearts, so that when springtime comes for us, we’ll be ready to bloom.
I will even make a road in the wilderness…
Have you ever gone hiking? There are usually some pretty well worn trails that other people, or maybe animals have made. Instead of stumbling through the tall grass, rocks and downed tree branches, we choose to walk these trails. When we start to take action and work toward this new thing in our life, we will face roadblocks. But God promises that He will go before us and blaze the trail. He will remove the roadblocks when they present themselves. He will remove all of the debris in front of us and make a road for us to walk on. And He will lead us into this something new. There will always be roadblocks in our path, but we can hold tight to God’s promise, that He will make a road in the wilderness for us.
And rivers in the desert…
Back to that hike through the wilderness, only this time it’s a hundred degrees in the shade. When the temperature is soaring, you’re going to get a little bit thirsty. All you can think about is a cold, tall glass of water. (And maybe some ice cream!) Okay, just the water, but you definitely need a little refreshment when it gets so hot outside. Likewise, when the heat is on in our lives and we feel like we’re failing in this new thing, it’s easy for our spirit to become parched. We’re so focused on the task at hand that we forget to replenish our resources, like reading the Bible, praying or seeking God’s will. But in the midst of our thirst, God is our oasis in the desert of our lives. He offers us a cool river to relax and refresh ourselves in, because He understands that we get tired and discouraged when things are hard and don’t go the way we thought they would. So, when hard times hit us square in the face, all we need to do is to turn to God. He will fill us up when we’re empty and pick us up when we’re down. Then, when the thirst subsides and we feel better, we can continue on.
Now is the time. God wants to do something new in your life! Will you let Him? Will you accept this new thing that He has planned for you? I know my answer. I will gladly accept this new thing. I will follow wherever He leads me. I will hold tight to His promises when things get tough. And, when the time is right, just like a blooming flower, I will spring forth.
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Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
This past Spring I went for a walk in the park with a friend. She wanted to get out into the sunshine and I wanted to take pictures of the tulips that were in full bloom. We had a lovely time together, chatting about silly TV shows and snapping pictures. Later that night, the pain started. It was radiating from my low back down my leg. Every time I moved it felt like electricity shooting down to my foot. Now, I’ve injured my back a couple of times before so I knew the drill, rest, ice, heat, stretching and strengthening. I did it all and slowly the pain subsided. Just a few days ago I was amazed to discover that I could walk and sit without pain and the strengthening exercises were getting much easier.
Then I woke up with my allergies going haywire. I should have gone to the doctor right then, but I didn’t. I thought I was tough and I could get through it on my own. Oh, how wrong I was! I had a terrible sneezing fit and I felt my back go out immediately. I knew I was in big trouble when I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning and I was dragging my foot as I walked again.
I don’t write this so you’ll feel sorry for me. By the grace of God, I’m going to be okay. I write this with the hope that you will be encouraged. We all have setbacks in life. They usually come at the must inconvenient times. But it’s just a setback, not a permanent destination. No matter what obstacle we face God is greater than it. For me the obstacle is an old back injury rearing its ugly head. For you, maybe it’s different, a divorce or bad breakup, the loss of a loved one, problems at work or a feeling of despair that you can’t put into words. Whatever you’re facing I want you to know that God has you covered! He loves you, He will see you through it and He is definitely greater than any setback we face!
Isaiah 43:2 says:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overtake you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
I love this verse and I come back to it often. The meaning is simple but the words are so powerful. We are going to have trials in our lives. But God doesn’t take us into a trial just to drop us off and leave us there. He promises that He will be right there with us. He knows that we will emerge from the flames stronger and better equipped for whatever the next obstacle may be.
Are you facing a setback right now? If so, then I pray that you will be encouraged by knowing that God is with you. He will use this time in your life to lift you up and show you His love and compassion. You may not be able to see it now, but you will emerge on the other side of this trial stronger and with more resolve to live for Him.
Setbacks will always come and go, but our loving Father will be with us through it all because He is greater! Until next time, God bless!
P.S. A little update on my back injury just in case you were wondering…
It’s been almost a year since I reinjured my back and I’m finally feeling better. God has used this time to teach me a few lessons, patience which is an ongoing journey for me and also humility. (Oh, humility! I’ll write a post about that one soon.) As I reread this post I was struck by one thing. “But it’s just a setback, not a permanent destination.” When I wrote these words it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it felt like my setback would be permanent. It’s been a long, painful road both physically and spiritually. But God has shown me just how great He is! He didn’t take me into the trial and drop me off, He stayed there in the fire with me the whole way. And I’m exceedingly grateful for His presence in my life! He got me through this trial, now on to the next one! 😉