I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Wearing my new eyeglasses as I stepped into the sanctuary, I sat down and spotted a friend sitting directly across the aisle on the other side of the church. As I waved at her, she looked so near and clear. It felt like I could reach out and touch her even though she was several yards away. Later, as we talked following the service, I realized she was in the same seat she always sat in. I simply could see her better because of an upgraded prescription in my new spectacles.
God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, knew that the Israelites stuck in Babylonian captivity would need a new prescription—a new view. He told them. “I am doing a new thing! . . . I am making a way in the wilderness” (Isaiah 43:19). And His message of hope included the reminders that He had “created” them, “redeemed” them, and would be with them. “You are mine,” He encouraged them (v. 1).
In whatever you’re facing today, the Holy Spirit can provide better vision for you to put the old behind you and look for the new. By God’s love (v. 4), it’s popping up all around you. Can you see what He’s doing in the midst of your pain and bondage? Let’s put on our new spiritual glasses to see the new that God is doing even in our wilderness moments.
What new things do you see cropping up even in your wilderness? How can adjusting your vision help you focus on the new rather than the past?
God of new beginnings, thank You for all Your promises. Help me to see the new that You bring about even in my wilderness moments.
For further study, read When God Says No—Broken Dreams to New Beginnings.
The prophet Isaiah draws on the language of Genesis and Exodus to show that the God who freed the Israelites from slavery can and will bring them home again from exile.
In Isaiah 43:16–17, God reminds His people that He carved a path through the sea to bring them out of Egypt. Now He declares, “See, I am doing a new thing!” (v. 19). But how will He do a new thing? He’ll use water—a barrier that God overcame when He parted the sea—as a source of blessing to make a way for them in the desert. Even the animal kingdom would experience the renewal of life that He would grant to His people (v. 20).
Both the stories of the past and God’s work in the present point to one thing: nothing—not a sea nor a wasteland, slavery nor exile—can prevent God from making good on His promises.