I Am Doing a New Thing
by Sharon Betters
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 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 43:18-19 ESV
Perhaps you are in a dark place where you dread Christmas. I get that. I was there for a very long time. To this day, over twenty years after the deaths of our son and his friend, Kelly, I must choose to lean into the joy of Christmas, knowing that sorrow and grief are waiting for an opportune moment to show up. Mary’s story teaches us that we can choose to embrace the joy of God’s plans for us, even hard, sorrowful plans, trusting that He will keep His promise to make a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. He promises that He will sustain us, He will carry us. He will rescue us. He promises we will not be disappointed when we hope in Him. Mary suffered in ways we can only imagine. Yet her song reveals the pathway she decided to embrace. She remembers God’s past faithfulness and trusts that He cannot lie. He will be faithful to her.
Though finding favor with her Father, she reveals her own need for a personal Savior in her song. Her faithful Father chose her for a life filled with challenges that only He could equip her to meet. Her song shouts out that she accepted God’s call trusting that He would do through her what she could not do by herself.
What gift that cannot be broken does Mary’s story offer? Mary’s response to God’s call and her ensuing song reveals a heart in love with her God. I recently interviewed Libbie Groves on the topic of cancer and grief. Her beloved husband, Al, died a year after the cancer diagnosis. We shared tears as Libbie described some of the hard places in the journey, but also as she declared the goodness and beauty and love of our God. If we had the privilege to actually journey to Christmas with Mary in our midst, there is no doubt Mary along with the other midwives of the Messiah would thrill our souls with a similar declaration of God’s past faithfulness and perfect love for His children. Such confidence in His love fuels our own response to those difficult places in our own lives. Don’t miss the opportunity to sit at Mary’s feet and let her story take you into the heart of our God, the Father of our Savior, who sent His only Son to take on our sins. If you are hurting this Christmas, let your pain lead you to the manger and revel in the love of our promise-keeping God.
Are you dreading Christmas? Review Today’s Treasure, Mary’s Song. Ask the Lord to write a song on your heart, filled with reminders of His past faithfulness.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
Melanoma, the word strikes fear into the hearer, especially when it is a diagnosis for a loved one. Al Groves and his wife, Libbie, heard these words and knew life would never be the same. In this conversation with Sharon Betters, Libbie shares the journey that her family experienced in the year after her husband Al’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. She offers her family’s story as a means of coming alongside of others who are struggling with cancer, God and grief.