Behold, A New Thing!

For thirty-five years my husband and I have enjoyed what I have come to call, canyon-view living.  Our home is located on the south side of the great Mission Valley in San Diego, California.  While it’s true I had always enjoyed the western, northern, and eastern views, they did not provide for me their full potential of appreciation until I re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ.  It was then the balcony became a preferred space for prayer, and the reading and meditations of His Word.  From the onset, the everchanging scenes of sky and land, birds, and plant life, became spiritual analogies and have always offered significant inspirations for my writing.

Recently, I received an unexpected phone call from our landscaper. In a slightly panicked tone, “Ms. Diane, come quickly to your balcony and see the problem which we have!”  I rushed and to my surprise found a great portion of the ground sliding down to the lower levels. My eyes followed the narrow but significantly deep strip of raw land from where it had begun to where it had ended. All of the once strategically located cacti and shrubs were down there together, piled in a mound. How incredibly sad. As I surveyed the proximity to our home, the length, and width of the affected area, and knowing more rain was on the way, his panic became mine. Phone calls were made immediately and by the end of that day, after careful inspection, I was assured that this posed no immediate threat to our building. Even so, the consequence of the landslide was unsettling.  I committed to giving this my undivided attention.

Here I am five days later and the slide has not stopped. It’s deeper and wider and more rain is expected. As I leaned over the railing I thought to myself, ‘This looks like an unpaved Texas Street.’ (It’s the road that takes the traveler from the heights to the valley below.)

In the heavy mist, I looked out through the endless gray skies and wouldn’t you know yet another spiritual application came into view.  “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)

Our lives, like the land, should always be ready for the unexpected. How we long for the good and seemingly stable things to never change.  Yet, they always do for nature demands it. And here is the beauty of this promise from God – He is doing a “new thing.”  He is changing the terrain. And even if the house were to go, when we travel with the promises of God, we can expect Him to make a way in what may appear to us to be “the wilderness.”  The reality is, He’s leading us to something new. “Behold, I am doing a new thing.”

Eventually, the land will settle.  Those mud-drenched plants will take new root and by Springtime will begin to announce their new addresses. For me, I know that wherever He leads is where I want to go for every road is paved with His goodness.

I close this brief essay with a passage of Scripture that reveal a great paradox of life and God. He leads us sometimes to narrow ridges in high places but promises to make wide our pathway.

Psalm 18: 30, “This God-his way is ‘perfect;’ the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?- 32 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. 33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for war so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. 36 (and here it is) You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.”

So, as the land slips and slides and the concerns continue, I am once again reminded that this, as are all things, is just another detail of life.  Changes will come but I am always in the total loving care of my dear heavenly Father.