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For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

It’s a new year! This past week I read a headline that stated something like, “Pollsters report that people are hoping for a better year in 2014.” I smirked when I read it. I have this (perhaps) weird habit of wondering if the opposite headlines are ever written. Ever seen a headline that read “The latest survey shows people hoping everything get’s tanked in the next 12 months?” Of course not! We always hope for a better tomorrow.

As children we hoped the new school year, or new school would be better for us. As parents we work hard to try to make a better life for our children and grandchildren. Many have sought new relationships, new careers or relocation to make for a better life.

As we enter the New Year, the prophet Isaiah gives us some guidance worth looking at. He’s writing to a people who are exiled from the country promised them by Jehovah God. Imagine how parents felt as they told their children, “Yes, YHWH promised us a new land. He miraculously delivered us from Egyptian captivity. When King David and Solomon were in control we enjoyed prestige, power and prosperity. Those were the years.”

Then the question. “But what happened Father? Why are we exiles now? Why did God abandon us?

With hung head the father would say, “Because, my son, we failed. YHWH told us that if we refused to follow his ways we would endure exile. Then, in tears he repeats, ‘We failed and now there is no hope.”

It’s to this situation that Isaiah writes, [YHWH states:] For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)

What an encouragement to a people who were beaten up, stomped down and hopeless. God’s plan was already working. It was something not easily seen to the casual observer perhaps, but it was happening.

When we focus on our weakness and our failures we fail to experience God’s grace. Dwelling on the past deprives us of the future God has in mind for us.

Whatever has happened in the past needs to be left behind. Whatever situation you are currently in needs to be handed over to a merciful Father whose main desire in life it to give us freedom. He is a God who is even now preparing the road we must follow to make it through the wilderness of our future.

Focusing on the past or our current situation won’t allow us to see how God is using those very things that entangle us to give us victory. Everything we are doing now is preparation for what God is doing for our future.

PRAYER: Father God, I ask that you would help each of us see our past and current situations as mere stepping stones to seeing your plan unveiled in the future. Help us to enter what lay ahead with confidence knowing that you are going to do something new in our lives. Amen.

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