“This is what God says–
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.”
-Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (MSG)
When you get into the hard times in life, it is quite often too easy for the enemy to convince us that we have been abandoned. That God may have been a great God in the past, but His miraculous works are no longer a factor in our every day. Can I be blunt? That’s a lie.
Let me share the head cannon that the Holy Spirit recently hit me with. There are things that happen in this world that defy explanation; people usually look to these events and label them “coincidence”. The good church children then reply with some variation of, “With God, there are no coincidences.” This is true. But what if we take it one step farther. With God, there are no coincidences…only miracles.
What if we approached every “coincidence” in our life as a full blown miracle! I struggle with anxiety. As hard as that is for some to believe, I’m about to really shock you: most of my anxiety centers around interacting with people. Surprised, right? But it is true! Especially when I am in situations where I am dealing with people I haven’t had a lot of personal interaction with, I stress about the conversation so much that, in the past, I have actually replayed entire conversations in my mind berating myself for stupid things I said and missed opportunities to say things better. God and I were addressing this in the car the other day and I realized I couldn’t be sure I’d ever handed that over to Him. So I did. “God, You have supplied me with the blessings of heaven and anxiety isn’t among them. The next time I am put into a situation that would make me uncomfortable, I want to be so in love with You and so full of love for Your children that I don’t even notice!”
Fast forward approximately three and a half hours. I walk into the Panera Bread in Boone, NC and see a friend. Maybe we’ve only had three other interactions in our life but I still definitely consider her a friend. We chatted, we joked, we laughed, she introduced me to the friend she was with, we chatted (and joked and laughed), then I ordered and they threw their trash away and went home. As I took my book bag and drink over to sit them on the table where they had just been. I heard the Spirit whisper to my soul through a smile, “You just did it.”
Nothing. Not one drop of anxiety. It never had time to form because I was so excited to see a sister in God. I was so in love with God due to everything that had happened in those three and a half hours. I stood for a minute, with a look of dumbfoundment on my face, then I heard the whisper again, “What was it?” I spoke it out loud for the benefit of my heart and the defeat of my enemy: “It was a miracle.”
The Scripture that I shared above is one I have discovered this week and I am tattooing it all over my heart and life. You know what it is that I love about this verse? “I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands”. This isn’t God promising to take us out of the hard things and place us in lush meadows. Most of us think we want that, but I am coming to realize that would be terrible! What this passage from Isaiah tells us is that God is hard at work in the middle of our desert…our badlands. God has been here waiting for us since the beginning of ever and He has also stayed step-in-step with us the whole time, guiding us to this time where we could see the brand new thing He is doing. This road! These rivers!
People, God may not be making a right-here, right-now, fully visible way out of it for you…but I can promise, actually…He promises through His word that He is right-here, right-now, fully visible doing things to provide you with everything you need to make the next step. We just have to refocus our eyes. We just have to refocus our hearts. We just have to remember that the little happenstances and coincidences in our lives are the miracles that cause all heaven to sing praises to God!!!