Seeing God’s New Work
“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.”
Though, in the past, God had done marvelous things for his people, most of all delivering them from Egypt (43:16-17), he wasn’t finished. In fact, he was beginning through the prophecies of Isaiah to do something new. Yet this new work wasn’t very obvious in the time of Isaiah. In fact, Israel still faced hard times and the prospect of foreign domination. Where was the new thing God had promised? God asks, “Do you not see it?” Israel’s answer may well have been “No.”
Similarly, Scripture proclaims if anyone is in Christ, that person has been made new and begins to participate in the reality of the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Yet when we look at our lives, when we see our failures and frustrations, we often can’t see the new thing God has done with us. God asks us, “Do you not see it?” Our answer might well be “No.”
So how do we see God’s renewing work in our lives? There are no easy answers, no quick solutions. We need to look carefully and prayerfully at what God is doing in and through us. In times of quiet, we review our lives with the Spirit’s help, noting not only our struggles, but also our growth in Christ. Such reflection helps us cooperate with God in his renovation of our lives. Moreover, it gives us a reason for gratitude as we thank the Lord for his new work within us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How has God been renewing you? In what aspects of your life do you sense his presence and power? How would you like to experience God’s new work today?
PRAYER: Gracious Lord, even as Israel had a hard time seeing your new work, so it is with me sometimes. I can get overly focused on my failures and sins. I’m only too aware of how I fall short of your intentions for me. It’s not wrong for me to admit my sin so that I might confess it to you. But I can neglect the positive. Forgive me, Lord, for the times when I overlook your transforming work in me. Help me to see what you’re doing in my life, so that I might thank you, and so that I might cooperate with you in your renovation project.
Thank you, dear Lord, for the new work you’re doing in me. Thank you for making me more like you. Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for your Spirit, who guides and empowers and transforms. Amen.