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 43:19)
This verse has been in my email signature for quite some time because I like the freshness and hopefulness that resonate in it. But today, thinking about some difficult things that have happened in our family, and also thinking about the difficult events in Jesus’ life that we’ll be remembering in our worship services over the coming week, this verse takes on a different flavor. And it’s a good reminder for me that indeed God is always doing new things, and we can trust that in the long run these new things are good, but they are not necessarily easy. In fact, sometimes they’re really hard and painful. And naturally we like to avoid pain, and we fight against it. Sometimes by fighting it we can push it away, or postpone it. But if God is in it, it won’t go away forever.
So today this verse got me to thinking about things I have been fighting against. Change is on the horizon and although I like change, I don’t like some of the ramifications of change. The funny thing is that I didn’t realize how much I’d been fighting. “Fighting” sounds so active that you’d think it’d be hard to miss, but with me it’s been subtle and I didn’t catch on. I don’t know if awareness makes it any easier, but at least I can understand it more and maybe talk about it some…with those involved and with God.
I heard the passion story again today in a new way watching this video about Good Friday. As I was watching, I thought of this verse from Isaiah. God was doing a new thing through Jesus but it was not a pretty thing like the new buds on the trees or the new grass coming up for Spring. It was an awful, painful thing. But it needed to happen to fully accomplish our reconciliation with God. And the reality is that in life some things are like that.
Are you fighting against something new that God is doing in your life, too?