Lauren Sparks recently found me through Compassion International bloggers and I’m glad she did! I’m just getting connected with her, but she’s already been an encouragement to me. And I get the feeling she will be to you too as she shares a piece of her story with you here today.
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.
I would like to forget 2017. I certainly don’t care to dwell on it.
In February, my husband lost his job with a company he had worked for more than 26 years. In March, I received a breast cancer diagnosis that resulted in four surgeries, chemotherapy and infusion treatments that are still ongoing. My daughter, who has a severe seizure disorder, earned her first ambulance ride and a hospital stay to stabilize 14 hours of clustering seizures. While running some tests, doctors discovered a hole in her heart that we have now scheduled for surgical correction. And, although my husband quickly secured additional employment, the job did not last and he found himself without work a second time. To cap off the year, my purse was stolen – my iPhone, iPad and, credit cards with it.
To say we are longing for God to do a new thing seems understated.
We are desperate for Him to show out. We need refreshment. And I KNOW He will bring it. How do I know? Isaiah 43:20-21: “… I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
Now granted, the prophet was speaking specifically about the nation of Israel; but I believe Jehovah has given this promise to me and my family as well. According to 1 Peter 2:9, we are also “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness and into his wonderful light.”
The Isaiah passage states that God will give drink to his people so they will proclaim His praise. And He will refresh my family and bring us something new for the same reason: Because we will give Him ALL the glory.
My husband’s next job won’t come to him because he is a born servant leader – although he is. My cancer isn’t in remission because I have brilliant doctors – which I absolutely do.
God gives all good gifts. And we are being
renewed & refreshed to praise His holy name.
Isaiah testifies he “made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters.” He “drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again.” He “blots out” my transgressions, for His own sake, and remembers my sins no more. “The wild animals honor” Him, and so do we.
We praise Him now, even though the waters feel more rough than refreshing. We thank Him for all the ways He is sustaining us. We worship Him because NO MATTER WHAT, He is good! And even if the new thing He is doing in us looks different than we had planned, we will tell of His excellence.
2018 is a victory story already, because we call on His mercies. We run to Him and find rest. We wait and watch in expectation of all that He is doing. God is doing a new thing. And we rejoice.
Lauren Sparks is a wife, mom of three, grandmom of four, fitness instructor, and grateful believer in Jesus Christ. She shares the ups and downs of the faith of a special needs mom at The Sparks Notes blog.
I also wanted to make sure you saw the new format to my monthly wrap-up posts that I introduced yesterday. I’m looking forward to sharing Stories from the Porch end of each month.