Isaiah 43:18-19 “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.”
Wilderness and wasteland. Another translation of this verse says, “…a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Wilderness, wasteland, and desert. In the context of this verse, these words are good descriptive words for the way I was feeling when our family died. Wilderness conjures up images like rough terrains to cross; rocky hills to climb; muddy slopes that cause you to slip and fall; snakes, bears, poison ivy. Wasteland and desert. I think of blinding sand storms that suddenly and unexpectedly come up with high winds. If you’re in a sand storm you can’t see where you’re going. You drop to the ground, huddled up in a fetal position because there is nothing else you can do until the storm passes. No shelter to be found. No visible path to take to get to safety. When I think of a wasteland the first thing that comes to mind is “such a waste.” There is nothing in this place worth anything. Nothing that I would take notice of. Barren and death.
Or so it seems at first look. Losing our family in such a senseless way was an absolute waste! It was inconceivable! Horribly sad. But God can turn even a tragedy such as this into “a new thing.” Through the years of trials and suffering gave me plenty of opportunity to learn to trust God no matter what. This was hard work at times as I struggled to understand why I had to go through the trials that God allowed to come into my life. In some situations, I got so angry at God. But I determined in my heart that I wasn’t going to give up on God. Through experience I came to know Who He is and how much He cares for me and loves me. I turned my heart to Jesus and trusted Him to “do a new thing” to bring me out of such a pit of despair. It was the only way I was able to heal and find hope for the future.
If God’s Word says that God is able to do a new thing even in this horrible and senseless tragedy then I believed it. When God’s Word says not to dwell on the past I know that if I go to Him and trust Him to “make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”, then I decided that was the only way I would be able to heal.
Life. Always full of “new seasons”, “new normal’s”, and new ways to let God do a good work for me in a world that brings so much tragedy. In all the new seasons of life God is always faithful. Always merciful. He always forgives. Always provides. He is always Good and always LOVE.
When I faced rough terrains as I tried to figured out what just happened, or rocky climbs out of the depths of the pit of despair and muddy slopes that caused me to keep falling with great anguish of heart. When I was blinded by desert dust storms over the deaths of our family. When I fell to the ground in a fetal position realizing I would never see my family again, this side of Heaven. When I was paralyzed by fear because I couldn’t see a path to safety in a world without Russell, Shawna, Tylee and Blake, I prayed and read Scripture to find the peace I so desperately needed. God is faithful and He always answers prayers. This verse was a promise to me. A promise I could hold on to. God was going to turn this around for my good. He was going to do a new thing. He told me to watch for it, for it would “spring up” and He was preparing me to be able to “perceive it” when it came. He didn’t want me to miss it. And I wanted to be ready. I needed whatever it was that God was preparing for me. In His great love and concern for me He was going to help me through this most horrific tragedy we have ever faced.
I can’t imagine going through this life without God! Only God can “do a new thing” even a most paralyzing, frightening and life altering tragedy.
Open your heart to Him. Let Him heal your heartaches and pain. He so desires to heal your heart and your life.
He loves you!