Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Forty Days of Proclamation: New
“For I am about to do something new.” Isaiah 43:19.
After multiple years with limiting health issues, I embraced “Abide” in 2019, surrendering to the Lord’s stay-at-home-order to simply be with Him. For 2020, when He gave me “New” I was excited, sure I’d done enough abiding. Time to break free!
In our Bible study, we created pictures of our word for the year. I used a heart doily, knowing anything New has to start in my heart, and a small heart from sheet music, writing “a new song in my heart.” I decorated with happy, festive touches and green grass for new life. I glued on additional verses: “I will be like the dew to Israel, he shall grow like the lily and lengthen his roots like Lebanon.” Hosea 14:5,6. ”Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
As with many of you, my picture of 2020 was not what God intended.
New began with the deepening of Abide. He wanted my roots deeper and stronger, from time and attention given to abiding in His heart.
Since the March, being “high risk” I have been more isolated, this time not even able to be with family or friends unless we’re six feet apart, outside. It has been a struggle to see what New has to do a pandemic.
The Lord is showing me how different his view is. God’s view isn’t a New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s not a refurbished life, either. It’s like manna, new every morning.
In the midst of this He is teaching me to come to him for my heart-needs, take life from his hand, trust him to take my aging, worn-out body, mind and soul and give me a new heart, every morning.
It’s not circumstances that are bursting fiesta-like. It’s my heart, putting down deeper roots in the fertile soil of his Word and fellowship (Zoom style, mostly). It’s my soul recognizing my longings, where I’ve wondered everywhere but to Him, finally learning to come to his hands, trusting He will provide exactly what I need. It’s my spirit flowering in the gentle dew of his Holy Spirit anointing me to really live.
That’s New life.
EZEKIEL 36:26 ESV AND I WILL GIVE YOU A NEW HEART, AND A NEW SPIRIT I WILL PUT WITHIN YOU. AND I WILL REMOVE THE HEART OF STONE FROM YOUR FLESH AND GIVE YOU A HEART OF FLESH.
Isaiah 42:10 ESV Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth
Revelation 21:5 ESV And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Isaiah 40:31 ESV But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Ezekiel 11:19 ESV And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh
Holy, life-giving Father, thank you that you don’t limit your action in our lives to our vision. Keep on teaching us, leading us out of blind alleys or dark places, encouraging us when we think there’s no way on, and directing us towards the real life that you provide. We invite you to work in our hearts, no matter what our circumstances look like. By the power of the blood of your Son, cleanse us. Refill us with your life-giving Spirit. Today, right now, give us new hearts, soft and pliable, ready to listen and obey. Wherever. Whenever. However.
Make all things new in us. Amen