Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Context: The prophet, Isaiah, is prophesying concerning the Israelites’ deliverance from Babylon where they were in captivity for about 70 years. He is also speaking of an even bigger prophecy…the Messiah coming to atone for our sins.
Connect the Dots: About 18 years ago, my husband and I led a group of young people to Northern Africa. During our 4 weeks there, it was hot. It was dusty. It was oppressive. About halfway through our trip, our host took us on a little road trip. We cruised in Land Rovers through the Sahara Desert until we came to an oasis. I had never seen anything like it. It was sand and camels as far as the eye could see until we stumbled upon cool water and lush green trees. In the midst of this tan backdrop, nestled this refreshing oasis. The color scheme and temperature changed instantly. It didn’t make sense how this new climate sprang up and survived in the scorching desert heat. When I read Isaiah 43:19, my memories take me back to this scene from many years ago.
When we’re wandering in the wilderness, it often times doesn’t make sense how God can make a way. When we’re stuck in the nitty gritty grind of life, it’s hard to perceive how He can do a new thing, but He can and He does.
The Israelites had quite the time in the Old Testament, lots of wilderness wandering. I can only imagine when Isaiah told them that God was doing a new thing and then asked them if they perceived it, that their answer went something like, “Duh! Of course, we can’t see it.” Being in the hot desert, how could they see the oasis? With our heads so buried in the sand, it’s easy to miss that stream right in front of us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Sometimes I feel like family life can get that way. We get so engrossed in the daily schedule of work and school. Parenting is such hard work that we feel the goal is sometimes to just survive, but the truth is that God wants us to thrive. He wants to do new things in and through us and our kids. We just need to get our head out of the sandy desert and ask Him what He wants to do.
We’ve just turned the calendar into a new year. Living in the Southern Hemisphere, my kids are even starting a brand new school year. It’s the perfect time as a family to reflect on the previous year and expectantly look at the new year and ask yourselves what the new looks like this year.
1. In what new ways does God want to use me and my family this year?
2. Is there anything in my life that is blocking me from being able to perceive what God wants to do in and through me this year?
3. In what areas am I having a hard time trusting God that he can make a way in the wilderness?
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the new You want to bring this year. I expectantly wait for the oasis in the middle of the desert and trust that You will be right there with me as I step into this newness. If there is anything in my life that is blocking me from being able to see the newness you want to bring, please show me. Please help our family to walk in faith as you guide us through this journey.
What is the new that God wants to do through you, your kids, and your family this year? How is Isaiah 43:19 speaking to you today?