God Moves in the Wasteland of Life

isaiah 43b

Isaiah 43:18-19 has been a foundational verse for me the last few years. There have been many times I find myself drifting back to “the good times”…times when on paper it looked good. It’s easy on days like today to only see the good & forget how empty those “good” days felt.

Anytime we end one chapter of our life (our choosing or not; for good or bad), I think God reminds us not to dwell in the past chapter(s) for a reason. You can’t move forward..you can’t enjoy this day…you will miss God’s hand at work & the beauty He has for you in this new chapter if you’re looking back at yesterday. 

This past week has been another difficult one but even here in our “hot mess” God has offered new hope. Chris has continued to have hard days, more complications; the kids & I have battled terrible head colds & pink eye. The school year has ended without my being able to take Ella on her last day or thank the kids’ teachers like I’d want to. It’s easy to look at everything that’s going “wrong” & to long for the past…to dwell in how hard & difficult today seems…to see our life like a vast desert or wasteland. 

It’s here in the wasteland…in the desert…that God wants to do a new thing for myself…for my family. It’s in our wasteland that all excess has been stripped away & barrenness exists. When our life is so full & busy, we can easily miss the small, quiet movements of God. But in the desert, you notice the small spring for the miracle that it is.

If I’m honest, I really don’t want to go back to the “good ole days”. I was empty there..searching for meaning; searching for God. While life is hard here in the desert, there’s a miraculous beauty in the nearness of God that I feel. There’s a quiet optimism & hope here from what I’ve seen God already do & where I feel God leading us. It’s in the desert, when everything else has been stripped away, that you need God to provide your daily manna; manna that nourishes your heart & soul, not just your body. 

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