Looking for God’s New Thing
It’s a new year. If God wanted to do a new thing in you or around you this year, would you see it or would you miss it? Isaiah 43:19 teaches us how to spot one of God’s new things. “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
God’s new thing springs forth. “Spring forth” reminds me of a seed in a garden. The seed has been there for some time, embedded in the earth, hidden from sight. Its growth has already begun, slowly and silently upward as the ground around it warms. But suddenly it’s time – the tiny leaves burst into the sunlight as something fresh and new that can finally be seen.
Has God been germinating any new things deep inside your heart and mind? Is it time for them to spring forth?
God’s new thing can happen anywhere, even in the most unlikely places. Notice where Isaiah says God’s new thing is springing forth. Not in a sunny, warm, well-watered garden somewhere, but in the wilderness.
Take a moment, close your eyes, and picture yourself in a wilderness – not just any wilderness, but the driest kind of wilderness – a desert. See the many shades of tan and brown, the windswept ripples of sand that turn into dune mountains stretching to the horizon. Occasionally, the visual monotony is broken by a tough little shrub or cactus. Feel the weight of the unobstructed sun pressing down on you like a huge, hot hand. Almost immediately, realize your growing need for the thing that is most obviously missing here – water.
God’s new thing is exactly what you need. It’s like water. Not only a pool of water, but a lot of water, rivers in the desert – just what you need most, and more than enough. A river is a running supply of water that creates green places wherever it goes. Isaiah also compares it to a roadway – a path to follow to a place where God will provide things that are in short supply or missing entirely where you are now. A roadway provides a way out of or a way through a hostile environment where you sense you were not designed to live for very long.
God is asking each of us an important question: Will you look for My new thing?
I can think of two ways to miss it. First, we may allow our attention to be completely distracted by the desert. We look at the desert, and we feel sure that there will never be any water there. But our God can and will make it! Second, we may find ourselves with our eyes fixed on the well-watered places of the past. We let the past limit our expectations for the future. Certainly, we should reflect on the past with gratitude and thank him for what He’s already done. We know that He never changes. But let’s not miss the new thing He is doing just because He hasn’t done it before.
Take a few moments right now in this first month of a new year, and ask God to make you aware of what new thing He is doing, both in you and around you. It may be happening slowly. Like a seed germinating, the working of God is often silent & gradual, but it is also certain. Be ready to spot a new thing springing forth, like a seed in the sun. And when you see it – don’t miss your opportunity!