Isaiah 43: 19-21
When we began the year 2020, saying goodbye to 2019, never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined where we are today. When the new year arrived, maybe you’re like me and you looked through your pictures from last year recalling all that you did throughout the year, all that God did in your life. And maybe as you looked forward to the new year, it was full of expectation, New Years resolutions and a renewed commitment to do better. Personally, where we are today—confined to our shelter-in-places only escaping for contact-free carry out or the last package of toilet paper—is not what I had on my New Years list of things to do. But, here we are.
All of these feelings wash over me as I read over our scripture for today; it comes from Isaiah 43:19-21. Please locate the scripture in your Bible.
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.”
Isaiah 43:19-21 NLT
This scripture was highlighted for me over a year ago. It was then when I felt the Lord speak this Word, this hope, into my heart when I needed it. And here I am again, one year later, and more hope oozes from this portion of Isaiah. If you’ll notice in your Bible, around verse 14 God reminds the Israelites what he did for them as they walked out of their slavery in Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. God reminds them of how he did the impossible for his people. But, it makes me smile when I read verse 18! God says, “Forget about all that! It’s nothing compared to what I am going to do.”
This is a nice little plot twist hidden in the book of Isaiah! How can this be that the God who commands them to always look back, to remember his faithfulness, to recall all that he has done is now telling the Israelites to forget it? He asks them stand upon his faithfulness and to look forward, not looking back. Go ahead and look it up…verse 18. God drops an abundance of hope here on the Israelites. He says to not think about the miracles he’s done in the past because they can’t compare what he is going to do! Maybe God was ready to blow their minds…. to bring freedom and refreshment when their surroundings seemed hopeless and never ending. He declares to do the impossible in such a powerful way that they will share his goodness with the world. He was ready to amaze them like never before!
In this day and time, the Almighty God sends us the same hope. We can stand on the Truth of his Word that he is doing a new thing in us too and in our world. This new normal we are living right now would have seemed impossible several months ago. But, here we are. And, thank God, we can look forward to the impossible he will to do in us and in our world. He will bring his children back to where they belong. He will revive our hearts with life. He will share his love with a world that doesn’t know the name of Jesus. He will light the path to guide us out of this wilderness and our collective voices will share of his faithfulness! Let it be so! Let it be so that we will see God move like never before in this day!
“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.””
1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT