Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent & New Things

I've been thinking about new things recently.

More specifically, God's new things in our lives.

More specifically still, God's new things in my life.

God has used a friend of mine to inspire me to dream about something more. And, not coincidentally, I have found myself in the following passage several times in the last week:

This is what the LORD says -
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick;

God gets the attention of the Hebrew people by doing a quick summary of His resume. And He gets ours too as we do a review of places He has worked in our lives.

It's as if He asks, "Remember me? I'm the One who freed you when you were slaves."

Can't you just hear the elderly Jews and those who knew their history, who had been told by mothers, fathers, grandparents, and priests:

"Yeah! We remember. You performed an awe-filled act on our behalf. That Egyptian army never had a chance with all their power and technology against us wandering, defenseless people...because YOU were on our side."

But listen to how quickly He goes onto the next point:

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

Really? Forget? Don't dwell?

But the good ol' days were so good. Why wouldn't we just sit around and dream of Christmases past and times when we were really close to God? Because...

"See, I am doing a new thing!"

Hmm. Maybe we should give this some thought.

"Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"

Here is where God has caused me to pay close attention to my own life.

Too many times I have to answer, "No, Lord, I don't perceive or see or hear or sense or smell or taste a new thing from You...but I sure would like to."

I get the feeling God is doing "new things" all the time around you and me.
I get the feeling that I am only aware of the teeniest, tiniest fraction of them.
I get the feeling that there are other things God would let me in on if only I'd pay attention.

A little quiet time for reflection, meditation, and prayer.
A little intentional reading of scripture or Christian writers.
A little planned programming when it comes to my music or what I watch on TV.
A little forethought about the websites or blogs I'll choose to feed on.

Might it be possible that I would be better prepared to perceive His new thing?

Then He begins to describe what this "new thing" is like:

"I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise." (Isaiah 43:16-21 NIV)

God makes a way "where there seems to be no way".

God makes streams where there is nothing but dust and dryness.

God makes it possible for thirsty, parched people to gulp down as much cool water as they can take in.

And then He reminds us how special we are to Him. He tells us that we are:

"people I formed for Myself"

Wow....I wish you'd read that last line again.

"people I formed for Myself"

Read it slowly.

Read it quietly,

like a whisper.

Or go to an empty room or your car, all by yourself, and SHOUT IT OUT LOUD:


Do you realize that nothing in the world's version of Christmas can give you this sense of fulfillment, purpose, and joy? Not Black Monday. Not Cyber Monday (or whatever it is called)

Only He can bring you that "new thing" and the joy that comes along with it.

"Joy to the world, the LORD is come. Let earth receive her king!"

He comes again now, in my life...and yours...to do a new thing.

Do you perceive it?

What will you do today to get ready to receive His message and work?

Grace & peace

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