Covid 19, social distancing, demonstrations…..
We have entered a new era.
“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 wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
Throughout 2018 and 2019 this scripture was my word, my promise, my password.
As I reviewed 2018, I realised, to my surprise, I had closed many doors that year. Mostly in decrees and prayer. I had kicked out old mindsets, family strongholds and pulled down the enemy’s strategies, effectively forgetting former things.
We entered 2019 with great hope, expecting the new. And, yes it did manifest but not as I’d hoped or even expected. (God never does what I expect.) I watched as other areas of our lives closed, came to unexpected, uncomfortable endings.
The doors of our rented office closed and my lounge room became an office for hubby and two staff. Then the staff left, leaving just me to help him. This was definitely new!
A few months later my beloved church closed. But that pushed us beyond our comfort zone into a different place. The Lord led a remnant of us into an Acts-style, community gathering. Once again, very new, and exciting, ground for us.
Then this year Covid sent even our tiny Christian community onto Zoom. Another new beginning. I’m not a fan of Zoom, but we began praying together daily, gathering around our screens at 6.30am, still in our pyjamas. This has been happening since Passover. A wonderful new beginning.
The bible tells us that Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it lives alone. But if it dies it produces many seeds. (John 12:24)
Many of our dreams have dropped, lifeless, to the ground, but shoots of vibrant new life are pushing up from the dirt and devastation into the bright light of God’s Word and His amazing promises. New bigger dreams are birthing. I can see the beginning of the new and the promise it brings. I know there is a great crop of fruit coming. I’m excited.
By definition, anything new is seen, experienced or acquired for the first time. When awaiting the arrival of a new baby, despite today’s technology, we still don’t know what that baby is like, who she resembles or how she’ll behave until she has come. Our experience with a previous child may or may not help as she is new. Never seen or experienced before.
We are entering a new era. Many things I’ve experienced this year have never happened before in my 70 years of going around the sun. So I know things will never be the same again. My hope is settled more firmly on Jesus, our rock. My worship is deeper and simpler. My prayer life has grown and an excitement stirs in my spirit.
I watch the world trying to self destruct as lies, conspiracy and lawlessness abounds. As much as it seems the enemy is in control, I know this is the birth pangs of new life, the old ways being dismantled, as the new transitions into being. God is still on the throne…the wind and waves still know his name.
How has all this effected my writing? Like most other areas of my life…it is paused...waiting for the understanding of the new. To return to, or continue with old ways and old methods is risking missing the path into the fullness of the new. So I wait on the Lord. In His time I will rise up on wings like eagles. I will run and not grow feint. And I will write what he puts on my heart.
How about you? What is God saying to you about these unsettled times?
Jo Wanmer is writing this from a wonderful retreat at Noosa North Shore, where she has enjoyed three days break with Steve. At home her dog, Barclay awaits and her family, who have now made her a great grandmother! She loves to write, but has been slow in production of late. Eight years ago her book 'Though the Bud be Bruised' was published and has helped many.