“This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, ‘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.’” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
I keep a lineup of articles to post, working ahead for those days when inspiration is lacking. I started looking through them when I realized today is indeed New Year’s Eve. Like I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t have anything prepared in advance, so I went to https://www.biblegateway.com/ to do a search on a couple themes playing hide-and-seek in my head. Instead, I find their passage for the day from Isaiah.
I was especially drawn to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” At first glance, that struck me as a bit odd. Who’s talking here? God.
Isaiah presents God’s bona fides, as it were. “Remember the Guy who brought us out of Egypt, parted the waters for our escape? The same Guy and His mighty works whom we remember every year with Passover? Yeah, Him.” I can then hear the New York accent. “Forg-ed aboud id!”
God says He’s got a new act coming. “You thought Egypt and the Red Sea was something? Well hold onto your BVD’s, ‘cause I’ve got a new trick planned for you!”
“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.”
He is, of course, talking about His new heaven and new earth. But God also makes us new over and over again. Every year.
Three years ago things were pretty bad for me. I was on the threshold of my current job, but everything had been lost. All I saw was the steep hill before me. Today, the hill is still steep. There are challenges I have no idea of how to meet. But this New Year’s Eve Isaiah bids me to stop, take a breath, turn around for a second, and check the view. I look at the past long enough to see what waters God has brought me through, to identify the One who brought me through that mire and up this hill.
“Yeah, Jeff. That was Me. I’m the Guy who did that for you. I’m the Guy who gave you the strength to do things you didn’t think you could, to do a job that’s not your natural skill set. Take a good look, because I want to remember it just enough to know that was Me back there. Now face your future, because I’m already there too, making your way on this steep slope. Come on up. The view is even better up here.”
So I bid an appreciative farewell to “God 2014.” The view from here is pretty good. It’s now time to engage with “God 2015” to see what new thing He has planned for me and my family!