On the Side: August 2023
Making A Way
“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” (Isaiah 43:19, NIV).
Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah wrote down this Scripture. And God surely made a way for us; the Way, in fact. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into this world, just as God said He would in the Scriptures. He came “…to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10, NKJV).
God knows everything He is planning to bring about in our future. He is the One who makes a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. We may look around us and see nothing of that promise, but He encourages us to look anyway and to see with the eyes of faith.
Many of you have just moved. You are on that unique medical timeline that starts on July 1 and ends on June 30 each year. Perhaps you are in a new place, a new town, a new reality. My heart goes out to you.
I well remember my first few weeks in Nebraska. A Gulf Coast girl myself, I had endured the sub-freezing winters in Minnesota for three years and I was glad to escape to the relative warmth of Lincoln. However, nothing prepared me for the wave of loneliness I felt after leaving dear friends in Rochester. Nothing seemed the same.
But God was the same.
God proved to me repeatedly that I could trust Him to be with us and to make a way for us, even in this very new and different place. In fact, doubtless He had been preparing this place for us all along, in His heart and mind.
When I first arrived, I thought of Nebraska as “the wilderness,” and to others it may still seem that way. Over the decades, I have come to know it as a nice, safe place to raise a family and to have a home. I have made close friends, been discipled and encouraged in Christ, and found some of those streams that God made in the wasteland.
God asks us, not to trust ourselves, or what our eyes can see, but to trust Him. God looks ahead in the timeline of the world and sees the whole picture. He even chides us a bit for not realizing what’s going on, “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” He asks.
Seven hundred years ahead? No, I can’t see that far with my eyeballs! But by grace I can perceive things by faith, and that is what God calls us to do. We can stand on God’s Word to be right and for God to prophesy things correctly. We can have rock-sure faith that things are going to happen just like God said they would.
God certainly knew what He was doing when He put us here. My husband has enjoyed his practice, and he now has friends and colleagues all across the state. And, as his retirement draws nearer each year, Nebraska surprising seems to us as good a place as any to settle down with our children and their families.
But, years ago, I couldn’t have seen it, or even have perceived it. I knew I was meant to be here, but I couldn’t know all of the blessings that being here would bring.
Maybe, right now, you can’t see it either. Maybe you have been plunked down in some new place, with kids who are confused and a husband who is working more hours than you even knew existed in a week.
I’m sorry. I know it’s hard. And I know it all seems new and foreign. But the same God who has always loved you is right there with you, and He still loves you!
He still lives inside of you, through His Holy Spirit. He still has a plan for your life. He still listens when you pray. He is still making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Hang in there! Who knows? Soon, you may even come to love and appreciate your new surroundings. God is there and He is faithful! Rely on Him!
Remember, Isaiah did not see the fulfillment of all the promises of God with his natural eyes, but he perceived them with the eyes of faith. And he trusted God to keep His promises.
So can you. God bless you!
Sharon is the wife of a physician, living in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska (also known as the “ends of the earth”). She wants to assure you that there is often more, to what God is doing in your life, than what meets the eye.