“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.” Isaiah 43:18-19
As promised, I wanted to share with you some of the nuggets God has been giving be through His Word, and through the recent book I read called The Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams Into New Beginnings by Sheridan Voysey, but it’s turning into a much longer post than I anticipated. So, I’ve turned it into a three-part post. I hope you enjoy, and that God speaks to your heart too.
Growing up in Arizona, I was always able to relate to a lot of the imagery in scripture. Wilderness, wasteland, desert, dry, barren land with not a lot of vegetation or growth; it was something I saw every day. Springs, streams, and rivers…those were rare. To me, the wilderness has always been very symbolic of my life and the different seasons I’ve passed through. Most of the well known people in the Bible have spend some time in the wilderness, and it has almost become personified itself, it is that significant.
The wilderness is a place where I am at my worst, where I turn my back or try to hide, where I loose my faith, where I look to other things to fill my needs, where I feel all alone and fighting to just survive. It’s a place of trial, of struggling, of doubt, and unhappiness.
“While the wilderness is a place of struggle and pain, it is more than this, I find. While a place of trial, it is also a place of provision; while a place of doubt, it is also a place of discovery; while a place of restlessness, it is also a place of change. Because the wilderness, for the Jews, was a place of manna and quail coming down from heaven and clothes that never wore out. It was the place where they discovered their identity as Israel, the children of God, and the place where God changed their grumbling, wayward hearts.” (Voysey)
I feel like I am still there now, grumbling in the wilderness, but as though God is working on changing my heart. He has quenched some of my dry heart from His spring, but I still feel like I’m wondering in the desert abandoned, sometimes. I am beginning to see more and more joy and peace, yet the pain from the scorching heat of the desert that I’ve walked through is still too vivid in my memories.
REPAIRING THE RUINS
A few years ago, I felt like God gave me some verses about our struggles with infertility and starting a family. Those verses were Isaiah 51:1-3, and I have prayed through them many times. They are verses I run to almost as often as Isaiah 43 – my favorite chapter.
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who see the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many. The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”
I pray continually that He will look with compassion on all my ruins, my parts that are not working and now half missing after the ectopic pregnancy. And I pray that He will make those deserts, those wastelands, those barren places like the lush Garden of Eden…fruitful, fertile, rich with new growth. And that soon joy, gladness and the song of thanksgiving will be found in me.
But until then, He is teaching me time and time again that I am to wait. Wait for what, I’m not sure. But it is a continual theme in my times with Him. One verse in particular that keeps coming up is Romans 12:11-12, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” And other verses with the same words keep coming up as well: keep, hope, patient, faithful… WAIT.
I feel like He is taking me somewhere, drawing me closer to something, but I don’t know what. Mark Batterson said, about the shepherds who followed the star to the stable where Christ was born: “If you aren’t willing to follow the star, you’ll miss out on the greatest adventure of your life.” (The Circle Maker) And I feel like, even though I’ve walked through the desert and I’m tired from my journey, I’m still ready for a big adventure. Mainly because anything would be better than where I was, and I can only get there by putting one foot in front of the other.
Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost for His Highest that “what we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.” And I can only wonder what that means for me. I feel like we (my husband and I) are going through this time, wandering in the wilderness to prepare us for something more. But what?
“God will keep putting you in situations that stretch your faith, and as your faith stretches, so do your dreams.” The Circle Maker
Despite all the unknowns, and things I could be worrying about. I am slowly learning to be at peace. To rest. To wait. Knowing truly that God is there with me. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God…since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you.” Isaiah 43:2-4