"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
Dennis canceled our local newspaper so that our quiet times would be regular--something I've been enjoying for the last month and a half. So much that I forgot that I had a blog.
I've been using a prayer journal put out by Youth with a Mission (sometimes called YWAM) and praying through different countries a week and a global people group in crisis per day. The last month has been about child soldiers. And for my quiet times, I've been reviewing and meditating through verses that I memorized back when I was 19 and in college, and then some passages I memorized more recently (about 10 years or so).
Isaiah 43:18-19 was a passage I memorized when we moved to Atlanta about 10 years ago. It was the first time I had lived so far east, away from my family. I was without a job, and without connections. A friend (an acquaintance at the time) suggested that I use that time to pursue God, because I would never have as much time again to do so. And Isaiah 43:18-19 captured my attention. It's time for new things, will I see what God is doing? Or am I so stuck in thinking about the past that I'll miss it? I need a roadway in the wilderness, and a river in a desert. Yes, people are all around me, but when you don't know them and are lonely, you might as well be in the woods or a desolate place.
Did God do new things? Yes, He did. My mom was sick for awhile and I was too far away to be as much help as I wished to be. I never felt as powerless as when I did then. When she died, it was beyond any pain or grief I had ever experienced to that point. Honestly, I did the most human thing, I tried to build my own roadways in my wilderness and rivers in my desert. It is the most desperate and futile thing I had ever tried to do. But I understand now, what drives people to sin who might not had ever considered it before. It's the vulnerability that you feel in your pain, it's like being naked in Antartica.
Early in the year, 2000, I read Isaiah 49:13--"Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on His afflicted." I knew that God offered comfort and was a source of compassion, but I didn't want to just know about it, I wanted to experience it. I wasn't sure if I was. So, I went ahead in my prayer journal and assigned it for my birthday in June, to memorize and meditate. A few days before my birthday, Dennis told me that we were moving to Colorado. We lived in Aurora, the flatlands, where the mountains were visible to me everyday and reminded me that the mountains were joyfully shouting that God was comforting me and had compassion on my afflicted and greiving heart. I was also close to my older half sister and her family, another source of comfort for me that God provided.
When we moved from Atlanta to Colorado, Hosea 2:14 spoke to me: "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her." I crave the words that touch my heart--I crave meaningful and honest communication borne through an intimate relationship with a person who knows me through and through. Who sees me. Who has noticed I am naked in Antartica.
I believe I have found that roadway in the Wilderness. And it leads straight to Jesus Christ.