By Meg Bucher, Crosswalk.com
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; note it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
Sifting through beads, realizing each had a special meaning with special prayers attached, the string I hung around the review mirror of my car touches my heart every time I see it, and causes me to remember the other half, which is swinging happily from another review mirror. From a tiny heart with good intentions came these special gifts to bless hearts all over the place. God reminds us to have faith like a child. There is something innocent and pure, yet true, captivating and convicting, about the way the faith of a child moves. And a little girl named Kori is living that out each day.
Inspired by the symbolism each of God’s carefully crafted creatures exudes, I researched the robin. Sitting on the sign pounded into the ground about to break open and reveal our new home, sat a robin. Not just one day, but day after day. I would pull up beside the empty space, grass growing wildly as stakes appeared and spray painted lines were drawn. If she wasn’t there already, the robin would soon land faithfully on the sign, chirping with delight as if to greet me as an old friend.
The robin traditionally symbolizes hope, renewal and rebirth. It can also represent selflessness for a higher truth (or love), and some legend suggests the robin received its red belly from a fire in which it was trying to protect Jesus. Even more, the robin exudes new beginnings and life, and is looked upon by many as a sign of fortune and good luck.
All this speculation aside, the Spirit moves in my heart whenever that robin tweets upon the space of our future home. Of course, God can use a tiny robin to reassure us, but the supernatural reassurance isn’t the robin’s doing. It’s the Lord, Jesus, promising never to leave us alone. It’s God our Father, making good on His promise that when we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him. And He will make Himself known in the most precious of ways. “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).
God promised the Israelites that He would lead them out of the wilderness, but it would be in a way different from what they were familiar with, or knew to look for. “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way” (Isaiah 35:8). The highway, the NIV Study Bible explains, is “a road built up to make travel easier,” the Way of Holiness, “The way set apart for those who are holy; only the redeemed could use it.”
This Old Testament reference to a road God’s people would have actually traveled to the temple reminds me of the way Christ has paved for us. Change doesn’t feel that way. Restarting is hard. Fresh starts don’t always feel like a crisp fall day or an early spring rain that makes the flowers bloom and things come alive again. But it does. Christ made a way where there was no way. Where there is no way. In our wilderness moments, and seasons “This new thing effectively reverses the exodus. Whereas God caused the sea to turn to dry land to save His people from the Egyptians, now He will make paths and streams in the desert to deliver His people” (Moody).
Re-starting can be a fresh start, but sometimes starting over isn’t the path we choose for ourselves. There are times in life when God redirects our attention in a direction we did not plan to, and might not want to, obediently go. In those moments, it’s important to get quiet with the Lord, and ask Him to confirm His calling.
Hands joined together, our family of four bowed our heads in the home we loved and gave it to the Lord all over again. “If it’s Your will …if You want us to, God …we will go if You are in it …help us to know we are supposed to go.” God is faithful to answer our questions, even our complaints, about the direction He is leading us to go. When we excessively ask Him, “Are you sure?” His response is not condemning, but convictive encouragement. He will surely make clear the direction we are supposed to go. But if we are too scared to take the next steps, He does not discount us. His purpose for us does not fade. Whatever God’s will is …will be.
Re-start can also be a fresh start. Even if the catapult of change catches us off guard, often times we can look back after we’ve taken faithful steps of obedience to see His hand relieving us from a burden we were not meant to bear, or could not see coming. Looking back over a life lived within the love of Christ Jesus will surely produce a trail of His faithfulness.
Discernment is defined as an acuteness of judgement and understanding. “I am your servant,” King David wrote, “give me discernment that I may understand your statutes” (Psalm 119:125). David was searching and seeking God to act wisely. God called David a man after His own heart. David’s heart was consumed by His relationship with the Lord. The Voice paraphrase of Psalm 119:125 reads:
“I am Your servant; impart to me understanding so that I may fully grasp the depths of Your statutes.”
This verse is part of a Prayer for Vindication, Moody writes. David was praying for God to come to his defense, and we know God was faithful to defend David many times throughout his life. “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law,” David prayed (Psalm 119:18). The root of the Hebrew word for discernment or understanding means to “understand, be able, deal wisely, consider, pay attention to, regard, notice, discern, perceive, or inquire” (Strongs).
David prayed for the ability to perceive God’s direction for his life. When we pray for the will and favor of God in our lives, He is faithful to deliver. Our Father in heaven wants us to succeed. He sent His Son to save us in the greatest act of love of all time (John 3:16). His heart breaks with us when we are broken. God is with us, has made a way for us, and has plans for us that are more than we can ask for or imagine. “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us;” John wrote, “but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:6).
Moody Bible Commentary. Moody Publishers, Chicago. Copyright 2014.
Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance. Of the Bible. James Strong, LL.D, S.T.D., Thomas Nelson Publishers. Copyright 2010.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Zbynek Pospisil
Meg, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and golden doodle.