Rivers in the Desert

photo by starlights_.flickr.creative commons I wrote last week about my difficult time in the UK, studying abroad. That painful month was the beginning of a heartrending season, as I mentioned in that post. There were times, during that spring, when I didn't think I would make it. I certainly knew that I wouldn't be the same, after it was over.

It was during that time that I found a group on campus filled with people who were seeking the Lord wholeheartedly. I grew up in a church which Sarah Bessey might call "happy clappy" and I was no stranger to the movement of the Holy Spirit. Still, it had been a while since I'd taken the time to remember this: "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you." [Romans 8:11a]

One night, as my friends prayed over me, some verses were spoken aloud. There are verses which God brings to remembrance often for me, like the wilderness verses I shared on Wednesday. That night, though I'd read the book of Isaiah before, I heard these words with new ears:

"Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert."

[Isaiah 43:18-19]

In a season where I was parched and dry, praying for hope, the Lord promised rivers, flowing in the desert.

photo by Vitamin O.flickr.creative commons

I began to pray again as I hadn't in so long. Instead of crying out, broken, I began to pray for healing. I would walk in circles around the perimeter of our campus, praying that God would move in and through me.

Out of the ashes of all that heartbreak and sorrow came something new. Out of the darkness came marvelous, glorious light. The very same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead made His presence known, in me and around me.

I am entering a new season of life with the Lord. I am holding fast to these verses now, as I did then. The Lord is breathing them into me, singing them over me as I sleep; behold I am doing something new. Now it will spring forth, will you not be aware of it?

It is easy for me to dwell on the former things. The past, painful as it may be, is known. But if I am looking back, I will miss the new thing, I will miss the rivers in the desert. I will miss the path in which I should walk.

That night, long ago, I could not have known what manner of things God would bring me through. I could not have known of the blessing, or the burden. I said then what I say now: Amen, Lord, so be it.