Advent Promises

Thursday, December 10

Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert rivers in the badlands.   
Isaiah 43:19

I watched my friend’s “tween” son model his new soccer outfit. He absolutely strutted in confidence! Do you remember getting new school clothes? A new outfit for Easter? Or what about that new car smell?!

My mother had an unusual attitude toward new clothes. While she happily bought or made new clothing for me, her own new clothes stayed in the closet to be worn “when no one is looking.”

I recall attending our Cru® (Campus Crusade for Christ) summer conferences where we not only celebrated God’s goodness over preceding months, but heard about new plans. Our visionary leader, Dr. Bill Bright, enthusiastically described (with fifteen- or twenty-point outlines!) how he and other ministry leaders believed God was leading. New challenges! New vistas!

According to one personality assessment, I’m an introvert who enjoys routine and structure, takes serious care in making decisions, etc. As a Myers-Briggs ISTJ personality, I am practical, orderly, (I) see to it that everything is well organized. Can you guess my reaction to Cru’s something brand new? I wanted to hide in my mother’s closet along with her new clothes!

But how do I respond to God’s brand-new things? Especially at this age when comfort calls, routine is reassuring, “as is” appeals? Dare I awaken each morning with an attitude like Old Testament Caleb when the Israelites contemplated new challenges: Here I am today, eighty-five years old!… Now give me this hill country… (Joshua 14:10-12). 

How can I respond more correctly to God’s brand-new things? First, listen and look for what God is doing. Be alert, be present, be aware of God’s work in my community, around the world. Second, honestly ask God how he would have me participate in his action. Creatively seek ways to participate, perhaps through active involvement, giving of finances, certainly by prayer. Third, join others in God’s program of making a road through the desert rivers in the badlands.   Don’t hoard God’s new things in the closet!

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