Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV) “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
We so easily become victims to our prodigal’s actions and choices. We then feel we are alone and helpless in a wilderness, partly due to our not knowing which direction to go. We even embrace the sense that God has left us in the wilderness because we see little progress in our prodigal’s life as we pray for a supernatural intervention. We feel our prayers are ineffective or unheard. And because of that, we sense the need to hunker down and fend for ourselves.
Besides, didn’t God let the Israelites wander for 40 years? Can we expect anything different than that?
And what was their sin? Not believing the God that could give them the strength or counsel to combat what they perceived were forces too powerful for them.
And yet, God provided so much to the Israelites, despite their poor choices and lack of obedience.
They received food to survive- manna and pigeons. They had to deliberately obey by only harvesting what was needed for the day and being content with it.
They received direction- choosing to rest when the cloud or pillar of fire stayed in the same place and being obedient to follow it when it moved in a weird direction or at an inconvenient time. They obeyed because they trusted Moses and the God that was unseen.
Likewise we often think our loved one’s actions are too powerful for us to combat. We are intimidated by the perceptions of their strength as we interact with them. We feel we don’t have the training, tools or strategies to win the battle.
The reality is yes, we can’t do it alone. But God has chosen this battle for us because our family is our inheritance. God’s desire is for our family to be united, free and at peace. He too is saddened by the sickness of sin that has destroyed relationships.
In this wilderness we have two simple tasks. One is to follow His direction. The other is to feed on the food He provides and to be content.
Trusting that God is doing a new thing despite the perceptions we have carried from the past is the key. He knows the path to get us out of the wilderness. He has the battle plans. He has the food to sustain us. So let’s have the confidence of Isaiah 43:19 for this next year. His promises never fail. Lean into them for this next year!