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He's Doing a New Thing!

Sometimes, life will take us places that look so eerily familiar to places we have stood before we will become convinced we are about to relive the events of times past. No matter how many years have gone by, no matter how different the circumstances, no matter what we know to be true now, the enemy will creep in and whisper loudly, reminding us of the destruction that came then. If we are not careful - when we find ourselves standing in those places - to tune in to the voice of our Maker who has promised good to us, we will turn our ear toward that voice of doubt and fear. As we wait with bated breath, we will do so with dread and angst instead of hope and faith.

Where we turn our ears and eyes can make all the difference, regardless of the circumstance or the outcome.

One of my children had a health scare recently, a health scare that seems to actually just be one of those "flukey" things of life at this point. All good news. Nothing to sweat. However, once upon a time, another one of my children had a "flukey" thing that ended in death. No man can ever make that untrue. While my hope rests in Jesus and I know full well my girl is rejoicing with him now, my mama heart right here on earth may never shake how it felt to let go of her here. And boy, does the devil know that.

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." 
Isaiah 43:19

However, praise Him, the Lord is doing a new thing! Every day, in every life, He is doing a new thing.

The hurts of yesterday do not get a say over today. No matter what dreams crashed to the ground yesterday, He is fully able to grant the impossible today. We dare not give up hope in exchange for fear. All throughout Scripture, the Lord is turning our eyes toward home and never back toward despair. When we are tempted to do that, we can rest assured it is not of the Lord. He has promised good to us. 

It was true all those years ago in the cemetery and it will be true every day until my family stands over me there, too.

"In Christ, our inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. THIS is why we rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, we have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of our faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though we have not seen him, oh how we love Him. Though we do not now see him, we believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls." 
{1 Peter 1:3-9; paraphrased to claim it as my heart cry today.}


In 2007, I learned the most priceless lesson I will ever learn. No diagnosis, no outcome, no casket can change the hope given to us in Christ. 

Shortly after our loss, I saw a mother who had learned she was carrying healthy twins praising God with both hands held high in worship one Sunday morning. Immediately, I was bitter, for I could hardly lift my head in sorrow. It was then my Father whispered to me tenderly (not audibly, just in my heart) that He alone gives life and takes it away. That is His job, His to decide. My role is to trust and to praise in every circumstance. As I thought to myself, so full of ugly hurt, that I bet she wouldn't be raising her hands in praise if she were standing in my shoes, I felt Him challenge me and ask if I would praise Him here in this place He ordained for me. It made me angry. Then, it took everything in me to lift my hands, but I locked my jaw then and determined to praise Him in my sorrow, to praise Him until my bitter heart caught up and praised Him, too.

God changed my life through the fires of sorrow. He refined my faith. He first lifted my hands, then my chin, and He set my eyes on Him. 

When I kept my eyes on Him, I did not hurt as bad.  It took this girl a long time to realize that, and I still forget it, but it's true and it makes all the difference.

No matter the winds, my hope will always be in Him.

Friends, when the enemy comes along and whispers to you about your hurts, about the times the story didn't go like you hoped, about the ways he wants to make you believe your God failed you, counter Him with truth. Raise those hands until your heart catches up. Look that devil in the eye and tell him all the times your God was faithful. Tell Him about that inheritance waiting for you that no man, no trial, and certainly no circumstance can steal because of Jesus bought it just for you. Trials come and as long as we are breathing, they will keep coming. 

When they come, hand them right over to God and watch as He makes your tiny seed of faith become more precious than gold with each fire that refines it more. Praise Him. Give Him glory. Though you do not see Him, let the world watch you love Him. Rejoice, in every waiting room, every cemetery, every hour of the dark night with joy that is inexpressible and, as they say, "doesn't make a lick of sense." 

Choose joy.

Choose Jesus.

Choose to lift those hands.

The reason for this story is glory. 

GLORY.  

G L O R Y.

We WILL lift our hands in glory, through every last chapter of this story... right up until the day we WILL live happily ever after.

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