I Am Doing a New Thing
Tuesday, October 1 2019
Truth be said, I haven’t written or posted anything “new” in Reflections For Living in almost a year now.
Oh, I’ve posted “something" almost every week: re-thought and re-worked reflections from past years mainly. But nothing “new”. Nothing fresh. Nothing hot off the press.
Some days, what with it having been without a doubt the most difficult year of my life, I had so much to say I couldn’t find where to begin writing. Other days, I felt like I had nothing to say at all.
Some days, I felt like I was being dragged along in a daze of losses and grief and emptiness. Other days, mixed and blazing emotions of all kinds seemed to erupt from my inner being to completely overwhelm and engulf me.
Slowly though, as the months have passed, the foggy daze has begun to lift. And the volcanic eruptions have begun to settle down.
And in the growing clarity and calmness, I have begun to see “new things” sprouting.
It’s strange, really: now that it is autumn here in Canada, and most living things are slowly shutting down for the upcoming cold of winter, I on the other hand feel that the frozen winter of my heart has begun to melt, and a spring season of “new life” is beginning to germinate and bud and blossom within me.
Slowly, new hope is being reborn. New vision is being birthed. New strength is being imparted.
Slowly, the words from Isaiah 43:18-21 spoken over us several times by different people over the past year are coming to pass:
"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?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland...
I provide water in the wilderness
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.”
I am encouraged, commanded even, to continually put the past behind me, to not ponder it and not dwell on it - to forget the former things and remember them no more. And to perceive and really see the “new thing” that God is doing in my life, now - that He is causing to spring up, today.
Where life has been a wilderness of unsettled and uncultivated wildness, God has promised to clear a way and make a road. Where life has been a wasteland of harsh uninhabitable extremes, He has promised to provide streams of refreshing and renewing water. All this for His people, His chosen people, the people that He created and formed for Himself that they might declare His praise - all this, for me.
These are very much the same words that He spoke to me directly a few weeks ago now from Isaiah 42:6-9:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations...
I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
What promises! What blessings!
As The Living Bible puts verse 6: "I the Lord have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them. You shall also be a light to guide the nations unto me.”
But not only that. Here too the former things are said to be past and ought to stay in the past. “New things” are being revealed and announced; even before they sprout up, they are being proclaimed. And it is the Lord, that is His name - the One who gives His glory and His praise to no other - He is the One who is declaring these “new things” over my life.
And so, slowly and tentatively, I am beginning to raise up my head, focus my eyes, attune my ears - and allow my heart to believe once again that “new things” really are possible now, and that the great losses and grief from the past are in the past and should remain in the past.
As the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians: “… One thing I do: 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) That is what I am learning to do more and more myself: I am learning to no longer look back, but instead to reach and stretch towards what is before me - pursuing and running hard towards the finish line so that I might surely receive the prize of the high heavenly calling of God in Christ Jesus for my life.
Yesterday when I finished writing this “new” reflection, I decided to walk over to our neighborhood mall for a break. As I arrived and looked up into the blue sky filled with white clouds, I couldn’t help but smile. Everyone else was just going about their daily business as usual. No one seemed to notice, or see, or care. Just me. Because maybe God had placed it there just for me: His covenantal sign of a complete and brilliantly colored rainbow assuring me of His love and His watchful care over me.
"See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
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