Hope, in the badlands.....
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands” (Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG)
What is life without significant struggle? Not reality I can tell you that. Some have had more than their fair share of struggle than others, and there is good reason for it. Notice I didn’t just say there is a reason for it, but there is good reason for it.
I came upon this scripture today, and it hit a very raw place in me, because of the current season I am experiencing. A visual in my head, as I read the scripture several times, of precisely God’s intent for me right now. For nearly a year now, I have been incredibly unsettled in my job. I didn’t have any specific indication that my role would be changing in any way, but the pressure was on in ways I cannot fully explain. Some unexpected transitions are underway in my workplace this month, and I find myself in a place I did not expect to be. As I am preparing for the changes coming, I find I am oddly at peace with it. I am not shaken or surprised, but I have confirmation now for how unsettled I have been. I believe wholeheartedly that God has my best in mind and I trust Him completely. I am aware today more than any other, just how blessed I am to have family and friends who love and support me unconditionally, and a circle of colleagues whom I can confide in and rely upon to give me solid advice and counsel as I consider what is the best direction for me to go.
Life is constantly changing, when we do not realize it, it is constantly changing. That job you’ve had for 25 years, could suddenly end tomorrow. Your marriage of 15 years, could suddenly be in jeopardy because of your partner’s confession to you that the love just isn’t there anymore for them. Your life could be completely turned upside down by a diagnosis from your doctor today that you have a terminal illness. Your family could be tragically ripped apart today by a serious life event.
What is your first reaction? How will you choose to respond in this moment, this unexpected and life altering moment when you have a choice to make that will not only effect you but those immediately around you?
My natural reaction, if I did not have Christ, would be anger. Anger would lead me to bitterness, and ultimately resentment toward those I considered responsible for the crap I’m forced to endure. That choice to be sunk by my circumstances, is so far from what God intends for me. There has to be a shift in us at this point from what would be our natural reaction, to a supernatural reaction. That’s because of Holy Spirit living in us! I believe God has had His hand upon me for a long time leading up to this season. I believe He is with me in and through every moment of this transition, and I believe He is working on my behalf to ensure what comes next is far better than what I have experienced thus far. This season, this difficult season, as much as I’d like to avoid it and skip over it to the good stuff, holds great purpose for me. The scripture in Isaiah today was perfectly timed because it is a reminder (the visual helps!) that “He is making a road for us through the desert, rivers in the badlands…”
So today, I am keeping that visual in my head, walking it out, trusting my Father God with what He intends for my good to come about. He is a good Father. I may not agree with what’s going down, but I know there’s purpose far beyond what I can understand right now.
I know someone reading this is dealing with something and needs to be reminded that there is Hope. He is our Hope. Don’t give up, my friend. I’m not giving up, and I am believing for greater things to come!