August 19

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters… Behold, I will do a new thing, now it will spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16,19

How we long for guidance in our life’s journey. The way ahead often seems long, and sometimes full of obstacles, confusion, and impossible barriers. God understands our longing to be informed, to understand and to have everything mapped out. So often we pray for guidance, whether for small decisions or big ones. Here in these verses of Isaiah, God encourages His precious people to be aware that He will make a path against impossible odds. The future of Israel was bleak at this point, and the nation trod a long and weary path into exile, from which it only really returned in 1948. But God said that He would make a path for His people straight through the churning, destructive waters, and through the scorching heat of the desert. God does a new thing. He does not guide us as we imagined and even perhaps hoped. He does something far better than we could ever have devised. He makes His people calm and nourished in the midst of the most awful turmoil of nations. God bids us take a step of faith each day – faith that we will find Him in His sufficient love and care. As we do so, we find this to be not merely survival by the skin of our teeth, but abundance far out of proportion to the context we live in. We pray for guidance to blessed circumstances, and we have often already decided what they will be. God says, walk into the dull and dreary day with Me, and it will open up into a walk along beautiful fertile river banks. Look, the river of life is flowing all around you and even in you.