'Watch I will do a new thing and it will spring forth, I will even make rivers in the desert.’ – Isaiah 43:19
In Isaiah 43 God reminds the Israelites of how he brought them out of Egypt. Then a few verses later tells them to forget it! In all our lives there are moments that are so precious they are engraved onto our hearts. Memories that represent more than just the events that took place; maybe the day we got married, had our first child or met our best friend. Those memories are powerful and probably a big part of what makes us the people we are. Imagine someone telling you to forget it. Sounds a bit harsh, doesn’t it?
Here, God is not trying to be harsh to the Israelites, what he’s trying to tell them is that something even better than their best memory is coming. Here, Isaiah is prophesying the coming of Jesus to Earth. Jesus sprung forth into the world and healed the sick, talked to the unclean and eventually died on a cross. Jesus could be depended upon to be loving and kind and to tell people that he was like water, the river in the desert. (Isaiah 41:18)
The world Jesus came into was messy. Slavery filled the streets, prostitution was rife, the poor stayed poor and the disabled had to beg for their lives. Our world today is not that different in some ways, but unlike our world now, then there was no hope. Jesus’ death made a way for us to come to him to have eternal life. This verse challenges me to never forget the awesome power of our God who can even make rivers in the desert. All things are possible for our God who even defeated death! Therefore, bring all your joys, sorrows, hopes and fears to him because NOTHING is too big for him, not even death.
Dear Lord, sometimes our lives can feel like a dry desert, especially in this isolation time. Help us to never forget who you are, and the amazing gift of life beyond the grave that you give us. May it fill us with hope.
Pray for parents you know whose children may not go back to school until September. Help them to adapt to continuing to teach them at home whilst juggling other commitments.