“But the Lord says, “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.” Isaiah 43:18-19
This Scripture warns us about living in the past, dwelling in things from long ago. There was a time in my marriage that I lived in the past. I was in a relationship prior to my marriage that ended abrubtly. I did not have time to allow myself to see any of the bad in it.
At the same time I could not let go of any of the negatives that occurred in the relationship with my spouse. I could only see the bad. Every disagreement turned into both me and my spouse rehashing every negative thing we had ever done to each other. It did not matter how small the disagreement was.
As such in my daydreams of the past it was everything my marriage lacked. I had a dream of this Camelot relationship that when things were not good I would daydream in. Even though my ex was states a way; he was ever present in my mind when there were disagreements. I “knew” it would be different with him. My spouse unknowingly was in a constant comparison with my perfect version of my ex, which wasn’t even real. This is not a good spot for any relationship to be in, let alone in marriage.
Through marriage counseling, a lot of hard work and some maturing, we were both able to overcome that very destructive habit. It was a long and hard journey. It was worth it and I even let go of thoughts about the ex, knowing it was a false reality.
It is amazing to see the new thing that God is doing and the growth in our relationship since our focus turned. off the past. I can now look back with a completely different perspective
of how well my husband loved me. It was not perfect, but it was more in line with God’s love than I saw at the time. What I wanted was already happening, I was just too stuck in the past to see it.
This Scripture goes on to say “It is already happening.” When we begin to live in the now. It can be easy to still miss what God is doing. This is especially true when it doesn’t look like what we have planned.
Since I began my Social Work Career back in 2000, one of my dreams was to connect the Church-as the hands and feet of Christ, with the true needs in the community. There are so many government agencies and nonprofits, but often red tape make alot of needs go unmet that would be pretty easy to met. I also believe God didn’t call the government or nonprofit to meet the needs, He called His Body, the Church to meet the needs.
I know part of red tape is a safety thing. It is important not to allow those in vulnerable positions to be taken advantage of. Nor is it okay to start enabling negative behaviors because of someone’s kindness. However I know many people would pitch in to help if they knew there was a need.
I think about how often I came across a single mom needing gas money or an emergency babysitter so she could work. Or an elderly person needing some simple repair done on their home with no family or funds to pay for the work. People who fall in between being able to meet all their needs and qualifying for assistance for basic needs. Red tape often kept me from helping meet these simple needs. I couldn’t share a name or connect people I knew could easily and willingly meet the need.
I had the plan in my head of what meeting these needs would look like, even taking precautions to keep vulnerable persons safe. I knew it was still okay to do background checks and have rules for safety. Not everyone willing to help has a good heart; and not everyone wanting help just wants the task at hand met. So I was stuck in that spot waiting to see the new thing that God was going to do.
One day, God revealed to me “It is happening already—you can see it now!” I was connecting needs in the community with the resources to meet them, and as often as possible with the Christian resource. It was not on a big scale as I imagined. However, I found the loophole, and I was sending people to it. People would call me all the time needing a connection, and I was able to do it. God showed me my dream was already happening and I almost missed seeing it because it didn’t look like I expected it would.
We can’t live in the past. God is the God of now. We have to be careful not to miss what He is doing in the moment because we have a preconceived idea about what it will look like. God’s roads in the wilderness and streams in the desert may not look like we expect it to, but in Him it is already happening.
Lord help me to live in the now, with my eyes open to see what You are already doing. Help me to find the roads and streams that You have put in this wilderness. I know they can offer direction and refreshing when Intake the time to see what You are doing.