“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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.”
“Forget the former things…” God says. I think this is the bad and the good, “do not dwell on the past…” Do not live in the past. Maybe it’s the mistakes, the problems, but it could also be a warning not to think the answer is to recapture what was good. For several years I was the director of a Youth Ministry. Most of the leadership came from the ranks of former participants that were currently college age up to mid 20’s. I personally felt as the director the ministry needed to recapture an outreaching focus…. Nobody disagreed with the need to share Christ with a broader scope of youth in the community, but we ran into roadblocks in leadership that felt unprepared/inexperienced and uncertainty. One well meaning young woman in leadership, felt like the ministry was slipping away, that we just weren’t going anywhere, and on many occasions she spoke her heart: “We just need to go back to the glory days of (name of ministry).” She meant, of course, five years earlier when she was an active youth.
“Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past…” God’s promise is for something new, something fresh… we are to live in today. If I am blessed to live to be 90, my plan is to plant a new fruit tree the spring of my 90th year.
“See, I am doing a new thing.” The most important word in this scripture is SEE. It’s an invitation from the Lord Himself. The next phrase makes it clear God is already doing something new ~ “Now it springs up…” It is growing. God loves doing new things. God does new things. He is making a path for through the wilderness. He is causing the stream to flow through the dessert.
Draw a line. Instead of dwelling in the past demanding that God revive the glory days when you were satisfied and happy. Instead of dwelling in the past at everything that has gone wrong. Instead of demanding of God when is he going to start tidying up your life and bestow blessings once again and bring you happiness, change the question you ask of God. Ask instead for your eyes to be open to what he IS doing, just because I cannot see God’s blessings at work does not mean he is not knitting my life together. As a church, I ask God for clarity, to be able to see. God loves doing new things. God loves to restore the wandering soul. God loves to create new ways. I am committed to praying the same prayer not only for me, but also for this church. God is already at work doing new things. I have no interest in reviving the Glory Days of this church. I love telling the story, showing the photographs, to thank God for a rich heritage, but what he is doing and what he is preparing is far more relevant. God loves doing new things. “SEE” is an invitation. “Do you not perceive it?” is the question.
A familiar phrase:, "In order to go where we've never been, we have to do something we've never done." If we want to grow into an ever-increasingly closer walk with Him, we're going to have to allow God to lead us in places we've never been before; God is already at work whether we see it or not. Accept the invitation to SEE, pray for open eyes, ask God to reveal his ways and what he is doing. There is a wilderness, but God is building a path. There is a dessert, but a stream is flowing. God loves doing new things. God loves showing us new places. God loves using new methods. Open our eyes Lord, to what you are already doing among us and in my life. Amen.