I am about to do something new; Even now it shall come to pass, Suddenly you shall perceive it: I will make a road through the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 (TJSB)
Something New – The New Thing Series – Part 1
It’s a beautiful promise – especially when you’re feeling worn out, used up, and a bit frayed – that God is about to do something new. I suspect many of us have clung to this verse during different seasons of our lives.
In Revelation 21, John describes a vision he had where he saw a “new heaven and a new earth (V1)… And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”” (v5).
New. Can you imagine that?
But then, I think of what the writer of Ecclesiastes said…
“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc 1:9).
Was he just having a depressed moment? Or is there really nothing new under the sun?
Whenever I've prayed for God to make me new, I have to admit, most of the time, I still feel very much the same. What kind of newness is he doing?
When a new day begins, it is, indeed, new. Except that it's the same sun that rises in the east, the same body carrying my spirit within it that wakes; I have the same friends and the same husband and the same children, and I eat the same food and I live in the same house, on the same block, in the same town, built in the same dirt, just a stones throw away from the same beach; I have the same memories, the same past, the same preferences and tastes, the same dreams, hopes, regrets and pains. A new day built with all the old things.
Maybe the ‘new’ that God is doing is not necessarily a physical thing. It’s not like he's taken out of my body the part of me that is prone to depression and has put a new piece in that isn’t. We still get sick, horrible things happen, the pain of the past is persistent, and fear of the future can be overwhelming. Our lives are full of meaning, but at the same time, we experience moments where we ask, “what is the point of it all…”
Sometimes I look around my home, community, country and the world, and I think, “I can’t see any sign of a new heaven or a new earth.” If God is doing something new, he must be doing it somewhere else.
Perhaps the something new starts in the unseen, in deserts and wildernesses (mess and pain and challenge and craziness), the change being so deep and intricate that we can’t see it until its almost done. Other translations of this verse say:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not see it?”
Written by Lizzy Milani