I’m not a theologian by any stretch of the imagination. I love God’s word. As a writer and a book reviewer, it’s not surprising that I love words. The Bible is rife with gorgeous stories and word pictures. If you haven’t read it, even if you aren’t a Christian, you should give it a try. The Psalms, the prophets, the history…it’s amazing.
Sharing this love of God’s word with my kids hasn’t always been as easy as I’d hoped. Up until recently, they haven’t really been readers, and they haven’t done a great deal of Bible study on their own. They know the stories, but they haven’t really been doing a lot of study on their own.
So, this year in our Bible class at school (I homeschool them), I have been very specific about the verses I have chosen for them to memorize. I want them to learn things that will apply to their everyday lives, and I’m hoping this will spur them to further research. This verse, Isaiah 43:19, really surprised me in the impact it had on them. We decided, as we copied it, to really pull the verse apart and talk about each part of its meaning. I thought I’d share our observations here.
"See, I am doing a new thing!"
The first word in here, see, is an exclamation. God wants our attention. He’s drawing us away from whatever it was we were looking at that wasn’t Him. It’s what I do with my kids all the time. I make sure that they’re paying attention to what I say. More often than not, I’ll ask them to look at me and watch them while I’m talking, so I can be sure I haven’t lost them. I think that is what God wants right here. You see, He wants us to know that second part.
He’s doing a new thing.
A. New. Thing.
How cool is that? The history of God doing new things is cool -The earth, the sun, the stars, people. Then there’s Jesus and the water to wine and healing people. If God’s doing a new thing, I’m really glad He got my attention with that first word. So what happens next?
"Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
This part was fun. In our discussion, I asked the kids about springing up. One talked about water. Another one talked about a volcano. One of my kids brought up Super Mario Galaxy.
There’s a level where Mario has to use springs to get up to the places he needs to be, because on his own, he can’t jump that high.
Another thing to note here is that you can’t stop something that’s springing. It’s coming up fast and you don’t have to wait for it. This isn’t God saying ‘be patient’ or ‘be still’. He’s saying LOOK! It’s coming up NOW! It’s springing forth, and He wants to be sure you don’t miss it.
"I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert."
We talked a long time about this one. A wilderness isn’t a forest or a place where you choose to be; however, it’s where most of us end up at some point in our lives. This is where it feels like you’re alone, and no matter how many episodes of survival programs you’ve seen, you’re not gonna do well here. You might live, but you aren’t going to grow or thrive. You won’t get ahead. You’ll just live. Trust me, I know how this feels. All of your energy is spent just trying to survive.
My kids pictured this last part in their mind two ways. One was the yellow brick road. At one point in the Wizard of Oz (yes, we’re movie geeks in my house), the forest is actually trying to kill our heroes, but the yellow brick road shows them the way out.
The other way was Star Wars. On Tatooine, there was no hope for water anywhere. That was a massive desert, and it was hot! (We know hot. We live in South Texas!)
My son got very excited about the changes that would come about if suddenly there were streams in the desert. Everything in their entire lives would change on that planet if there were streams available. They wouldn’t need to work so hard to survive. They could start to LIVE.
I don’t know where you are right now, but it’s possible that you’re stuck right now in a wilderness or a desert. You might feel each day like you’re fighting and battling just to survive, but God wants your attention. He’s doing something for you - Right now. He’s making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert, and He wants you to know that. It’s exciting, and it’s amazing. All you have to do is trust in Him.