"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
Have you ever read something and it just hit you like a mack truck? That happened to me when I read these verses from Isaiah. I have been doing my little fast, not all that faithfully to be honest - there was that time I got a chicken wrap in the drive through and another time, I stopped to get something to eat because of convenience; I also peeked at my favorite websites a few times.
The truth was, I was feeling discouraged. It seemed despite my prayer for God to show me my false gods, my false beliefs and my false motivations, He wasn't showing me anything at all. This month was just hard, with no revelations or insights to brighten my path. Then two weeks ago happened.
These verses hit me straight between the eyes and revealed a false belief I had - that circumstances had to change for things to change. Those verses showed me that God can make a roadway EVEN IN THE WILDERNESS and that He can provide streams EVEN IN THE DESERT. He doesn't rely on outward things to affect change. He does a new thing and instead of pondering the past, I better take notice or I will miss it!
Then I went to my doctor's appointment to talk about my anemia. The doctor told me they were going to do iron infusions and all the vague, uncomfortable, somewhat worrying symptoms I was having were tied to the anemia. I got in my car and cried from relief. I haven't felt good for literally years and the idea that I might actually wake up and feel good was almost more than I could take in! I was praising the Lord for this HUGE answer to prayer, let me tell ya!
Then I went to a conference. It featured Kelly Minter, the author of the Bible study I just finished. She was really excellent and I learned a lot as she talked about Ruth in the Bible. I have been praying for the people in my neighborhood, particularly the kids my boys hang out with. But I felt stumped as to how to help them, what to do, what not to do. Kelly Minter said something that gave me one of those "ah-ha" moments. She talked about how sometimes a person just needs to be seen, to know they matter and are special. It seemed like God whispered in my ear "Just start there; just show them El Roi (the God who sees)."
But it wasn't until her assistant got up to share her personal testimony during the last fifteen minutes that the true revelation came. She shared how God changed her and got her into ministry and showed her where she was placing her faith in false gods. Then she gets out her Bible and shares some verses that were just a life line to her. They were in Isaiah 43:18, 19. I had goosebumps. That is not a very common passage, and while I could write it off as coincidence, I know it isn't. Then she said something that just sort of sent chills over me. She said, "I just know that there are ministries in Lima just waiting to be birthed and there are women here who are supposed to birth them."
It was then that God showed me a few more false idols and motivations in my life. You see, I wanted to move - we needed more room, I wanted a garden in the country, more dogs and I didn't feel terribly safe where we were. I prayed that God would move my husband with similar thoughts but when I brought it up to him, he didn't seem interested at all. I wasn't very happy about that and had been thinking how to change this; nevermind that I had prayed specifically that if my husband wanted to move that would be a sign that we should. See, I felt all spiritual because I was willing to do a few good works while I bided my time for the better place, while I half- heartedly prayed for the people in my neighborhood, thinking the whole time there wasn't anything I could do, really. I was unwilling to let go of my idol of a house in the country, lots of space and even realizing my dream of breeding and training dogs. I held on to that pretty tightly and it wasn't going to happen at my current residence.
So, even though my fast wasn't completely focused and committed, God was good to show me what I prayed for: the false god of a new house and my own agenda, false motivation of just biding my time and not truly loving the people around me and the false belief that God can't make a way in the wilderness, that you have to reach the Promised Land before you see the streams of His work. Praise the Lord that God is patient with me, full of grace and lovingkindness. Thank You Lord that You know my frame and I am just dust.