The view out my window this morning is the opposite of what I’d hoped for. Giant white snowflakes fall from a grey sky. Green leaves contrasted with the beautiful colours of fall and then white. White on cars parked outside too long. White covering the shingles on the houses next door. It’s not supposed to look like this in September.
This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:16-21 (NIV)
This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“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. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’—the coyotes and the buzzards— Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me. Isaiah 43:16-21 (MSG)
My opinion has dictated my attitude. It’s not supposed to be like this in September has put a definition of dissatisfaction on my days. A grey attitude matching the grey skies overhead.
My God is asking me to consider what I’m paying attention to. The weather or Him. The circumstances or what He is doing. His involvement in my life is not contingent on blue skies and sunny weather. He does new things even in the middle of what is unseasonably cold. He’s asking me to, again, leave behind the past that has defined me. Deal with it. But be alert to what’s happening right now. It is so easy for me to get bogged down – details, to do lists, snow, dreary skies. These things shift my attitude so quickly.
But am I paying attention to what God’s up to?
He is a way maker. Am I looking to see the way He is making? What path have I found myself on? Is it my path or God’s path? If it’s my path, should I even be there? God, you declare yourself to be the way maker. I want to walk in Your way. I want to be on Your path. Forgive me for forging my own path. Restore me to the path You have for me. It’s Your path I want my feet on.
He is a provider. I am blessed beyond measure. I know it. But I forget it. My warm house, His provision. My place of employment, His provision. My family, His provision. God, if you take care of the needs of the animals You have made, why would I doubt Your ability to take care of me? I praise You for Your gifts of provision in my life. They are more abundant than I can understand. The snow outside is a reminder that You have all things in Your hands and I am asked to live out of a place of gratitude and generosity. Make my heart beat like Yours.
A praise receiver. When the gloom seems to win and my heart forgets, grumbling is such a quick reaction. My God is worthy of all the praise and thanksgiving I can shower on Him. He’s made all of it. Sun and rain. Snow, too. Blue skies and grey, mountains and plains. The tiniest bug to the largest beast. The uniqueness found in all of it testifies to His creativity and tenderness. He is worthy of all of my praise. I choose to take my gaze and fix it upward. On Him. The maker of it all.
I had not thought September would look like this, but I’ve needed the reminder. He is doing something new. I want to journey with Him – regardless of the weather.