“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” -Isaiah 43:19
NEW. This is what we prayed for. Something different, a change. NEW. This is what we begged and pleaded with God for. Healing. There we both were, stranded in the wilderness, roaming in the desert. God brought glimpses of hope to us there, mainly through Real Hope Community Church. He brought friends, some of the most incredible friends we’d ever had, an opportunity to be a deep part of things we were passionate about, an opportunity to be poured into and mentored. It was amazing. It grew and saved us, but it was only preparation. It was preparation for the transition into the NEW God had promised us. So, he made the way and led us out of our wilderness to the NEW.
NEW was exciting. I anticipated it for over a year. I was ready. The ‘old’ hurt and was painful. The ‘old’ brought out the worst parts of my heart and crippled me. I was ready for NEW. We both were.
NEW hurts though. NEW is hard. Healing hurts. Healing is hard. To restore what has been broken, to find what has been lost, to remember, to recreate, to rebuild. It’s hard and painful. It is lonely. It makes you take a few steps back and try to recall who you truly are, who HE truly is, and what he’s called you to do. What do you believe? About yourself? About your relationships? About God? Do you really trust God as much as you say you do? Sometimes you can get so comfortable in your ‘old’ and your hurt and your wilderness that home is the scariest place you could find yourself. You begin to believe the lies. Lost is what you know so it’s where you desire to stay when you’re found. But NEW saves your life. Draws you closer to the Lord. Rejuvenates and strengthens relationships. Empowers You. Dignifies. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary to start over, to rebuild.
If you’ve ever watched a Home Improvement show on TV you know that as soon as you begin the rebuilding process, as soon as they begin one project, more problems pop up and you end up having to re-do basically everything! You start by redoing the kitchen, now you have a pipe problem, you redo the bathrooms, now there’s something wrong with the foundation, you’ll have to knock out a wall etc. But at the end of that half hour the end result is breathtaking and beautiful! Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem to rebuild a wall, and then ends up addressing the problems of how they treat their poor, hosting dinners, taking measures to repopulate the city and purify the Jewish community, and assisting Ezra in making known and enforcing the law of Moses. When you go to rebuild one thing somehow everything else comes to the surface.
But the promise of NEW is an old promise. Through Christ we are promised the second we come to faith our ‘old’ is gone and our NEW will come. But because we are human and messy and selfish we have to wake up everyday and put on our NEW. Strive to be more like Christ through our sanctification, through the Gospel.
Some NEW is easier than others, some NEW is harder and forces you to see the messiest parts of yourself as you begin to rebuild and restore and heal. NEW like a marriage and a move across the country! But our God is the same and faithful in the seasons of our ‘old’ and hurt and consistent and faithful in our NEW. NEW can be isolating and intimidating but NEW is beautiful and powerful and shapes you to look more like Christ and pursue what he’s asking of you.
” You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” -Ephesians 4:22-24