A couple of years ago I was walking through a valley season. It was a rough season and I was regularly crying out to God for help and release from everything I was struggling with at that time. One night when I was at a prayer meeting on my knees crying out to God (literally), God dropped these words into my spirit, “I am doing a new thing, do you not see it?”. I paused midway through prayer and mulled the words around in my head before getting up off the floor and sitting down in the back of the church. Thinking it could be a verse in the bible that I didn’t know of, I pulled out my phone and went to Google and discovered that it was, in fact, a verse in the book of Isaiah, verse 43:19, which read as follows:
“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 wasteland” (NIV)
As I read and reread that verse, the first thought that came to mind was, ‘No, God, I don’t see it. If I did I wouldn’t be asking!’ I know, I am just so gracious! After staring at the verse on my phone for what seemed like hours, I finally looked up and said, “Okay, God, you are obviously doing something and I can’t see it, but what do I do now?”, to which He very gently replied, “just be still.” Not an easy task for a control freak like me, but I decided that it would be a wise idea to listen, so from that point on, every time I would get anxious about my situation, I would do my best to just settle my heart and repeatedly pray, “I know You are doing a new thing. Please show me what I am missing and can’t see.” It was a while before anything started to make sense but gradually, I started to get an insight into what God was doing; conversations started taking place, invitations started coming in and opportunities that I had never thought possible not only became available, but were handed right to me. Over time, God opened the door for me that allowed me to walk right out of my situation and step into what He had been planning for me: a new job with an evangelistic not-for-profit ministry, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. What seemed like a job very quickly turned into full time ministry that has sent me half way across the world and my heart has never been more full or satisfied. And not just that, He opened the door for me to share and encourage people with my writing by giving me the opportunity to write for ICFW! (Y’all are just awesome, by the way!).
So what’s the point of me sharing all this? I’m glad you asked!
Well, the fact is that we are limited in what we can see and understand. Our minds simply cannot understand or fathom all the ways of God, and for that reason, He has given us limited vision. He has given us limited understanding of the big, wide world because it is too much for us. We can only see so far, but God sees all. He sees the bigger picture. Where we only see the beginning, He sees the end. When our worlds fall apart, whether it be through a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, a job loss, a runaway child, a failed book or any other hit you may take, all we can see is the rubble around our feet. We look around us and see our hopes or dreams or relationships destroyed, but God sees an opportunity to show His love and might and grace. Where we see rubble, God sees a new foundation to build on. He sees an opportunity to use our circumstances to minister to others that will, at some point go through the same thing. If we allow, He will use our heartbreak to bring peace and comfort to others. Romans 8:28 states, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’. And it does. I have seen it in my own life time and time and time again. I have seen it in the lives of people around me time and time again. God is faithful, and if we give it to Jesus, all of it, he will use it to help others. He will use you, to help others.
It is easy to get bitter about life and our disappointments. It is easy to look up and blame God when things go wrong, but that doesn't help us in any way. If anything, it will just makes things worse. At the end of the day, we can’t understand why bad things happen. I don't know why bad things happen to good people, but I have come to a place where I am okay with not knowing because I have decided to just trust in His sovereignty and love and know that He has us firmly in the palm of His hand. We need to trust that He will restore and redeem and fulfill our hearts desires because He is a good Father that not only wants what is best for us, but knows what is best for us. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, so we just need to sit back and let Him be God. We just need be still and watch in wonder and awe as He threads together our story for His glory.
Leila Halawe is a Sydney based coffee loving nonfiction writer and blogger. She has published a short devotional, Love By Devotion, shares her life via her blog page Looking In . You can connect with her via Facebook at Leila Halawe Author and via Twitter at @LHalawe)