Rivers in the Wasteland- Thoughts on Isaiah 43:18-19

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

There is a time and a season to ponder and process the past. But, if we are so stuck in the shame of our failures or remain too long in the pain of what’s been hurtful, we will miss the new miracles of God. Likewise, looking back to the good and wishing for it to be so now, keeps us blinded to the good God has for us next.

I love the new album from Needtobreathe. There is a song called Bullets, “Some bullets that you chose can’t go back in the gun…. Don’t let your heart be stone.” Shame and unforgiveness are on both ends of the bullet. And both can make our hearts be stone. Jesus takes the gun from the hand of the shooter, and heals the wound of the bullet in the victim. He makes a way through the wasteland no matter how terribly dark it may be. There is light and healing. There is a new life-filled stream that can spring from the desert. If God created all that is here, why should I doubt he will create newness and bring forth life in the dead places now?

We must plant our feet on the holiness of the present. This ground where streams spring up in the driest deserts of hopelessness. This roadway that God will make in the wilderness where we can’t see the forest from the trees. I am staking my heart’s tent in the present and will camp here with my eyes on God. He promises to do something new. He redeems our past and parts the waters of the present to make a way through the mighty waters to our future with Him.

Lord, You formed me and chose me. I am Yours, so I will trust that You are doing something new. Even if I can’t see it now, help me remain free from the snares of the past, and live with hope and expectation for those rivers in the wasteland. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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