Some days, or seasons for that matter, can feel like Jesus has gotten too busy to remember you. You have been a faithful, devout prayer warrior and have been relying on His unfailing promise to help you carry your heavy burdens. As of late the burdens are bearing down, and you’re wondering if you really matter. Feeling invisible and exhausted is a devastating combo.
As spring turns to summer, your hope is waning. In the quiet, it’s becoming harder and harder to hush the haunting whispers of doubt and bitterness when alone. Taking the risk of sharing your struggles with a friend can be quite risky; unwanted advice carried with a tone of shame is a common response. The weight of it all has worn you down, and you’re wondering if you can keep going.
Just the other day, I was in my office struggling with similar thoughts and feelings. Looking out the window, I watched the sturdy limbs of our crape myrtle trees swaying in the breeze. Bursting with lilac-colored flowers and providing shade for the birds that have made their little hidden homes in the colorful foliage, it seemed like only yesterday we planted these two trees. The single trunk and fragile limbs were now thick and robust, spreading their soaring limbs far above our two-story roof into the blue, sun-drenched sky.
I glanced down at my daily calendar and turned to the date. As only God can do, the following verse was printed on the page . . .
“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 (see) it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18–19 NIV).
Looking back out my window at the trees, I remembered the day they were planted. They were itty-bitty trees we had gotten on sale because it was not planting season, and no one expected them to survive. But they were trees on sale, which was an offer I couldn’t pass up. After getting them in the ground, we did the basics: watering, fertilizing, basic care, nothing spectacular yet enough to keep them hopefully alive. They weathered completely unfazed the horrendous snowstorm that hit Dallas in 2021; all the while we lost a huge oak tree which had been planted in 2003.
From the time they were planted and not expected to live, they have thrived; not because of special treatment or their unique “thriving” abilities, but because we have a Creator who shows you and me His unchanging character through nature in ways that would otherwise not be seen.
An hour later I picked up my daily devotional, and again, as only God can do, the passage from Isaiah 43:18–19 was on the page for the day. I can be a bit slow to pick up on things, but Jesus got through loud and clear that afternoon. Just as He had a perfect plan for those who wandered through the wilderness for 40 years, He has a perfect plan that is unfolding in your life and mine.
When we are in that “between space,” whatever that looks like for you, with the lack of knowing what’s ahead while feeling useless, helpless, aimless, wandering, and wondering, remember this passage. We are commanded to “forget the former things” (don’t look back with rose-colored glasses or wish for past comforts), look around, and KNOW He is doing a work in you that you can’t imagine. It may be time to look outside and see how He keeps the seasons in perfect order. He’s never missed a season; how much less would He miss a moment as He is working out His ways in and through you.
If this encouraged you today, please pass it along to someone who may need a word of hope. On our Reframing Ministries page, you can also access resources purposed to provide strength and hope each day.
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In When Life Isn't Fair: What They Didn't Tell Us in Sunday School, Colleen Swindoll Thompson weaves together biblical truth, practicality, and her own growth experiences as a mother of a son with special needs. She writes with raw honesty about her personal crisis of faith as well as the hardship and humor that come with learning to trust God through difficult times.