See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

DEVOTION

It’s springtime in Oklahoma and redbud trees are blooming everywhere. A few years ago, our family planted a weeping redbud in our front flower bed. We love the natural color of the blooms in the spring, leaves in the summer, fall bare branches, and even winter shadows from bare branches.

In early spring, the branches are smothered in clusters of small but brightly-colored purple blossoms, which then turn burgundy throughout spring, and slowly become green in summer. In the fall, the leaves are bright yellow.

I love how unique the weeping redbud branches are. They cascade downward across our flowerbed three to four feet and look like they’re providing protection for the surrounding flowers.

As we were coming home from a walk with our family recently, we were stunned by the beauty of the blooming tree. The posture of the weeping redbud throughout the seasons of the year reflects the state of our heart and soul in this season.

We are weeping and mourning the current state of our world changing: the sick, the dying, the hurt, the hungry, the helpless, social distancing, jobs lost, school closures, business closures, and not being able to physically gather with our church community.

We’re living in such a strange dichotomy of our hearts weeping and while also celebrating new birth, spring blooms, and changing seasons.

Isaiah 43:19 says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Sometimes, in order to perceive something new, we need to recognize what was lost. God wants to do something new in us. It’s okay to pause, recognize, mourn, and lament all that is lost before we give birth to the new.

That phrase, “I am doing a new thing,” was the word spoken by God to his people in Isaiah 43. He was speaking faith out of their seventy-year captivity into a new season of redemption. God was calling his people out from the old and into the new. He was calling things that were not as though they had already happened.

It feels like we are all in a season of captivity and restricted from our old way of doing life, and yet God wants to speak to our faith during this time. It’s made me reflect deeply on my life. What do I need to allow to be cut away so something new can be birthed?

As we saw the blooms on the redbud, we were reminded of this Scripture. God is speaking new life into each of us. He is speaking hope into our heartbreak. He is speaking peace into our chaos. He is speaking life into loss. He is speaking into our time of being still and silent.

Where do you need to recognize what has been lost? Where are you seeing something new being birthed?

In this season, our family is being reminded to hold the pain of loss in one hand, but to also lift up the hand of God’s promise of a new future in the other hand. New beginnings. New rhythms spending time with our precious family. New spiritual growth. New fresh wind of God’s spirit on our church. New communities formed online. New friendships. New partnerships. New hobbies. New disciplines.

New life.

In this moment, we realize who we are becoming is even more important in this season of staying at home. My hope is in any season that we become more centered on Christ and watching the bloom of something spiritually new emerge.

PRAYER

Lord, I pray…

Your strength for the weak
Hope for the hopeless
Peace for the weary
Healing for the sick
Vulnerable and the lost

Surrender over control
Your will over our ways
Rival of hearts & homes

Light over darkness
Worship over worry

Faith rises
Hope prevails
Love conquers

Prayer warriors
Peace makers
Hope dealers

God
Jesus
Holy Spirit
Amen.

Scott Bartlow

Crossings Edmond Campus Pastor
sbartlow@crossings.church

SCOTT RECOMMENDS…

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