“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 desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV84).
On January 24, 2013, my husband’s heart stopped beating…and shortly thereafter, God brought my heart back to life.
Before that day, I thought my life was just fine. In fact, I couldn’t have felt more blessed. I had a wonderful family and so much more than I could ever need. I was fulfilled by the comfort of my circumstances and quite happy with my own little world.
But then…in one quick moment my sweet David stopped responding to me. His eyes were distant and still. Someone said, “He’s going to crash.” And with that, I was ushered out of his hospital room.
Walking in a daze so very slowly to the cold, deserted waiting room I suddenly felt that everything was going to crash. Did I just see my precious love for the last time? Was this wonderful life I held so dear falling apart? My head was spinning, and I felt all alone.
Then, in the midst of my shock and disbelief and fear, I sensed Him. There in the quiet, still waiting room with its empty chairs, I felt HIS warm, embracing presence. I was not alone. The Lord was there with me…holding me…comforting me. Speaking to me in the stillness: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV84).
Oh, how I desperately needed Him. And He was there!
In those long, agonizing minutes that seemed hours, God was speaking to me lovingly, filling me with His precious peace and amazing grace. And in the way that only He can, He gently revealed my wayward heart. Through the years, without even noticing it, I had lost my first love. My devotion for the Lord Jesus had taken a back seat to my devotion for a comfortable life.
In light of the possibility of losing it all, I saw how my life and, indeed, my husband, had become more important to me than my precious God. And it broke me.
In that moment, I knew my life would never be the same, no matter what words I heard when the nurse returned. My precious heavenly Father had used those paddles of life to jump start my crashing soul and my heart was revived.
Now, ten months later, I look upon my sweet husband, sitting across from me at the dinner table, with awe—not of him, but of our magnificent God. He not only brought David back from the edge of lifelessness, He brought my heart back from the edge of spiritual lifelessness. And I am so very grateful!
I read with great joy the words of our Lord in Isaiah 43:18-19: “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 desert and streams in the wasteland.”
No matter what we’ve done in the past…no matter how many times and how many ways we have failed the Lord our God, He forgives us through the blood of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 43:25 says “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
We must move forward from regret of past failures toward this new beginning. The Lord is doing a new thing! Do you not perceive it?
In the desert and wasteland of my heart, God is making this new thing! A new way! And I am excited to see where He will lead!
This Thanksgiving Day is a day of new beginnings…
…new devotion to the Lord.
How does one sufficiently give thanks for new life? Simply by living that life to the fullest for the purpose it was intended, with pure devotion to the One who has given it.
Dearest Lord, help me not to waste any more of my life on myself. Let me not dwell on my past failures. But with my eyes focused on You, let me embrace this new thing that You are doing and live my life in undivided devotion to You. May I glorify You in everything. Thank You for this new life…for new beginnings. Thank You, Lord. THANK YOU! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Photo by Sabra Penley, 2012