18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 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.
The past can cripple you. It’s like burying your head in the sand and missing out on new blessings from God.
Several weeks ago, Janet and I visited an antique store. As we were checking out, a gentleman stopped me and asked if I was Burt from the old Burt and Kurt Show on the radio. Talk about irony, an old radio guy getting recognized in an antique store. Anyway, I acknowledged that I was guilty as charged. He then shared how much he had enjoyed our show.
My radio career began in 1970 and ran until 2007. And I am grateful for all the opportunities God gave me in that profession. But I seldom think about it. Just enough to count my blessings. More important is making the most of today and the new challenges that await.
Regardless of the time in your life, God is “doing a new thing.” In our focus text, we’re told to look at what the Lord is doing now. “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” What is today’s challenge? What is today’s opportunity? Where is God leading and what does He want you to do?
Think about these words from verse 19: “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” God doesn’t want to leave us in the wilderness of disappointment or despair caused by the painful past that has brought us to our current place in life. Even if your existing situation seems like a wasteland where nothing good can happen, God wants you to know He can lead you through it and give you something better.
Make an honest assessment of where you are in life right now. Are you coasting, just biding your time until the Lord takes you home? Have you stalled because your current burdens have overwhelmed you? Are you stuck in the present because of what happened in the past? Does your life have real purpose and meaning? Do you know where you’re headed and why you’re going there?
It’s time to get out of that rut. Ask God to do something new in your life; a new perspective, a new dream, a new direction, a new passion.
The Lord asks, “Do you not perceive it?” (v19) I once had a boss who frequently said, “Perception is the reality.” It’s true. The way we see things is the way they are. If you see yourself at a dead end, you’re at a dead end. If you see yourself as defeated, you’re defeated. So to change your reality, you must change your perception. A great place to begin is with Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:26, “… with God all things are possible.” Make God’s perception your reality.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” We serve the God of new beginnings and second chances. (v18)
Have you seen a video of Tom Willis throwing the first pitch in a major league baseball game? A remarkable accomplishment for a man born without arms.
One of the most inspiring evangelists I ever heard was David Ring. David was born with cerebral palsy, but he has done more than overcome his disability. He is an example of how God makes “a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
These remarkable individuals and thousands more have refused to allow life’s debilitating challenges to keep them down. They arose from the rut of their unfortunate circumstances and got on with life.
If your life has become a hopeless wilderness and wasteland, look to the Lord to make a new way. He can give you a fresh outlook, show you the path to something better, and even revitalize that wasteland.
Let’s look at our focus text one more time.
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 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 43:18-19
For more on this topic, check out this article: How God Works for Us Behind the Scenes
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.