Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A New Thing

...this is what the LORD says - he who created you...he who formed you...
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
you are mine.

Read it again.

Read it s l o w l y.

And read it out loud, if you can. (Even at the volume of a whisper). But make your ears hear your voice.

Go ahead.

I'll wait.

Pretty amazing, huh? The God who formed YOU. The One who redeemed YOUR life. He is calling for YOU right now.

This is an intensely personal relationship from an intensely personal God who speaks an intensely personal message. Here it is:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

Interesting, isn't it? God doesn't promise that we won't go through water and fire. But God does promise that we don't have to be alone. We won't be forgotten. And we don't have to be unprotected.

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?

Do you like new things?

Sometimes I do.

Sometimes new things are faster than old things.
Sometimes they are more efficient than old things.
Sometimes new things are bright and shiny and fun.


...sometimes it can be painful to take on a new thing.

Because it means letting go of old things.

Think about these "new" things:

- Dropping your child off at their first day of school
- Going through a divorce
- Letting go of bitterness and anger
- Making a trip to the funeral home for someone who died too young

Taking on a "new thing" means giving up things we'd come accustomed to.
It means letting go of our usual ways of coping.
It means letting go of comfortable habits.
It means letting go of hurts.
It means letting go of attitudes
that have become a part of us.

That's the problem, really, isn't it? Letting go of a part of who we are?

And those things don't leave so easily, do they?

When God asks, "Do you not perceive the new thing?" I have two thoughts.

We may not see new things because we don't "have eyes to see or ears to hear". We just plain miss it. Much like we miss a turn or an exit. We didn't do it intentionally. We must "missed" it.

However, other times we don't see the possibility. We don't hear what could be. We're overwhelmed by what "it" would take to move in a new direction or be obedient to God's new thing. We see "it". But we don't see what "it" could become.

But listen to what He is talking about doing:

I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:1-3, 18-19 NIV)

That's pretty amazing, isn't it? A God who makes a way where there is no way; a path where there has been none. One who makes streams of water spring up in the middle of the desert; One who knows we're thirsty and there appears to be no possibility of quenching that thirst for miles and miles.

He knows.

And He's able to help.

If only we'll let Him.

Today, my prayer is that God would give you:

- Vision and hearing to be aware of the new thing He wants to do in your life

- A willingness to obey and do what God is calling you to do

Grace & peace

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