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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Forget all that!

I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. 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 43:16, 18-19 NLT)
Many times God is preparing a way, not through the overwhelming waters, but through the wilderness - the driest and most challenging of journeys we may face, but one with preparations for our safety all along the way. The word of promise to us is simply: Forget all that - it is nothing compared to what I am going to do! 
I don't think many of us have seen waters back up on themselves as though an invisible dam halted their powerful flow, nor do I think many of us have stopped to consider just how God was able to dry up that riverbed floor so quickly! We might have seen just how quickly we could stop our vehicles in the blink of an eye when we were about to become very intimate with the bumper in front of us that just happened to get a little too distracted in their driving! We have "just missed" the deer, jackrabbit, or wayward squirrel who had to get to some point on the other side of the road. In that instant, panic rose and settled, as we breathed a sigh of relief for avoiding the collision or allowing some creature to live another day. We might even have uttered a quick prayer of thanks, but do we stop to consider those moments as "Red Sea" moments - those times when God just does something amazing to protect us? In those moments, his protection was evident, but there are times when his protection and provision are less than evident - in fact, all we see is the barrenness ahead and we begin to worry!
There are some today who face things ahead that appear as nothing more than "dry wasteland". Relationships which you counted on are being torn from you and your life seems to be turned upside down. There seems to be nothing but dryness and neglect. Others face what has become a very dry and somewhat non-productive spiritual walk - lost to the worries and cares of this world, too frustrated by life's challenges to try any longer to find God's answers. To each of you the reminder of God's words above need to begin to take root: "Forget all that!" Forget what was, it will not be again - because God has something different he is doing in and through you. Forget what might have been, it never was and God isn't about to let what "used to be" to govern what "can be" through his power and grace today. Forget who you were then, you aren't going to be that person again because God's plan isn't that you "were", but that you "are".
"It is nothing compared to what I am going to do!" You whose relationship has become a tangled mess of goofed up missteps - what was is nothing compared to what is about to be - for you serve the God of restoration! You whose physical bodies have been ravaged by disease so awful - what was is nothing compared to what God will do in his redemptive power! You whose minds are so laden down with worries you should not be bearing - what was is nothing compared to what God is doing today and what he promises to do into eternity when we keep our focus clearly on him.
Lay hold of that one command and this one promise today: 
    - Forget all that!
    - It is nothing compared to what I am going to do!
Focus on this main promise:
    - I am about to do something new!
God isn't finished just because you might not see more than wilderness and barrenness ahead. He has just begun! Just sayin!