Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A New Thing - Martin Wiles

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NLT

Snow fell lightly at first, but then…

For the only time since the first three months of my life, I was living outside my home state of South Carolina. Never had I seen more than a few inches of snow at any one time. But while my family lived in Jackson, Tennessee, what was later called the “storm of the century” hit.

Only a smattering of snow initially fell on February 9, 1973. Then skies darkened as a low front moved in from the Gulf of Mexico and mixed with rain on the East Coast. The mixture produced snow like residents had never witnessed.

My paternal grandparents lived in Orangeburg, so we got the scoop first hand from them. Two feet of snow fell and paralyzed many parts of the state. Had it not been for rescue personnel, National Guardsmen, and volunteers with four-wheel drive vehicles, many essential services would have shut down. And had people not opened their homes to strangers, some stranded motorists may very well have died.

God did something new in the area of my home state, and I missed it. Through the prophet Isaiah, God announced at another time that He was about to do something new. He had previously delivered His people from Egyptian slavery, but now their disobedience had led them into Babylonian captivity. Their repentance, however, would soon bring God’s mercy in the form of the Persians who would allow them to return to their homeland.

I’ve been guilty of trying to contain God in a box. I’m more comfortable when He acts according to my preconceived notions. But God can’t be boxed. He’s demonstrated that in history and continues to show it presently. He’ll never act in ways contrary to His nature, but He will perform in ways we don’t expect. He is . . . God, after all.

God acts when we exercise faith and obedience—as He did when the Israelites repented of the sins that had led them into Babylonian captivity. He has amazing plans for our lives, but faith and obedience are required for them to materialize.

God’s ways are higher than we can ever imagine. What He’ll do in our life will outperform anything we can imagine. But He does it so He can glorify Himself through us—the instruments in His hand.

Don’t box God in. Let Him do something new in your life.

Prayer: Father, we open ourselves up through faith and obedience. Do something new in our life. 

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