A River in a Desert

Isaiah 43:19 says, “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 and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people.”

Six years ago, my husband and I faced a decision that was very hard to make.  It was a decision to leave a church and step out on faith not knowing where the road would take us.  We felt as if God had another place for us, where we would not only be loved, but where we could serve God in the way that we knew He had planned for us.  We also wanted it to be in a place where our young daughter would see Godly examples around her.  Stepping out on faith was hard.  It meant a loss in income over time and my return to full time employment.  It was a desert because we did not know what the future was going to hold for us.  The verse in Isaiah was a promise that although, at times, it felt that we were stranded in a desert, God promised that he would make a way for us.  The happy ending to that desert was that God brought us to a new church.  My husband thrived in his gift to preach and teach the word of God to people who desired to hear and apply it.  Our daughter was immediately surrounded with Godly examples and we all were loved by everyone beyond what we ever expected.

However, that is not the end of my story.  Once again, I find myself in an eerily similar circumstance.  The future is once again unseen and unsure.  What I do know is that God is faithful in His word, over and over, again and again.  Let’s break down that verse – in true Pastor fashion.  (I was married to him for 20 years and he taught me well!)

In Isaiah 43:19 it begins with saying that He would do something new.  This eludes to something that hasn’t happened yet, something new and wonderful that will surpass what He had formerly done.  Nothing is impossible with God and we can look for the blessings that God has promised.  I know that as we (and the church) continue to mourn the passing of him, we must continue to look for what the new thing is that God wants to do.  It also says that it shall spring forth.  What do you think when you hear that phrase?  I think of a bud opening and blooming like a flower or a shoot of grass or plant coming up new from the ground.  It is a happy feeling thinking of spring.  Will you not be aware of it?  We have to be careful to keep our focus in the right place.  We still need to worship together, serve together and unite so that we will be aware when God is working among us.  I will make a roadway in the wilderness.  When we are walking in a fog or in an unfamiliar place, it helps to be able to follow a road or path.  It keeps us on target so that we don’t get lost.  Being lost and separated from God breaks our fellowship with him and it prevents us from receiving the blessing that he might have for us.  Rivers in the desert – Have you ever been in a desert and suddenly a river popped up?  Not a stream…not a bubbling brook – a river!!  We are talking Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri RIVER.  That is what God is promising here.  He will put a river in our desert.  This is the river of Life, the living water, this is what we need to survive.  It will come in abundant supply.

There is always a path in the wilderness as we look for the river in the desert.