While unpacking a box in my new office this week, I found a little, brown, leather pocket Bible that was given to me almost ten years ago at a business meeting with a publisher. I used it often until a couple of years ago and the satin ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding still marked the last page I had read. I flipped it open, secretly hoping to find a moment of inspiration – a little nugget that might give me some direction. Highlighted with my own pen marks and scribbles, I found this:
“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 desert.”
Until a couple of years ago, that scripture from Isaiah 43:18 was completely unfamiliar to me. I mean, I must have read it at some point, but it wasn’t something I remembered. Then oddly, a couple of years ago, that scripture kept crossing my path. I heard a pastor mention it in a sermon. Then I read a book and the author quoted it. Then I turned on the television, and someone referenced it. I took it as a sign that I needed to pay attention. This was the message I sensed in my spirit and this week, as the scripture appeared randomly as I opened my little, old pocket Bible, I wonder if it is a message I am meant to pass along to you:
Forget the old stuff you wish were different – you cannot change what happened or did not happen in the past. Don’t dwell on it because something new and better is forming right now. Can’t you tell? You are not alone. Out of desolate and desperate situations, God will make a way. Believe it. Then receive it.
I believed the message, even though it didn’t look like anything was springing up at all. But isn’t that what it means to have faith? To believe and hope and move towards a vision which can only be seen in your mind’s eye. At the time, my hope and vision was for a beautiful marriage and family. I could sense it springing up, even though there was no evidence of it yet. And today, that is exactly what I have. But I honestly don’t believe I would have it if I had dwelled on the past and given up hope for my future. After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith cannot exist without hope.
I don’t know what you are hoping for, but this week, I invite you to forget the former things and stop dwelling on the past. A new and good thing is springing up. The next chapter of your life awaits you. But you cannot write your next chapter while you are still re-reading an old one.
My challenge to you this week:
Open your eyes to the new thing that is springing up in your life! Give yourself permission to hope for it. Believe it.
Journal about it:
What are the “former things” you need to forget? What is it time to stop dwelling on? When you get quiet and pay attention, what “new thing” do you perceive springing up in your life? Post your comments below or share this message on Facebook and Twitter.
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