“This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and steams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” – Isaiah 43:16-21
People near and far are hurting for one reason or the other. We all have our share of pains, some because of domestic woes, children problems, personal health and family health problems. We have job-related problems, some are experiencing the pain of death and many of us are experiencing, for the first time, the aches of growing old.
People who do not know God would probably resolve, “This is the hand that you were dealt.” They would just write it off to the problems of life and see no hope for the future.
However, because they have no hope, they would not expect to see a change in their life or to feel differently. But, for the Christian, the outlook is different. Yes! There is a better way, which is found in Jesus Christ, who went to the cross to rescue us from sin.
His coming to Earth, suffering and dying for our sins, gives us hope. Because of Jesus’ obedience to the father, God will not let us suffer indefinitely.
In the above text, Isaiah 43, “God declared himself to be the sole author of that which is truly new. That newness is rooted in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.”
The prophet, Isaiah, was writing to a people who were far away from home, in a foreign and strange land – a land of bondage. They were in a terrible state and longed for their God, and for their homeland.
In anguish, they cried out to their God to rescue them. As they lingered in captivity, longing for their God to rescue them and return them to their homeland, they became depressed.
The prophet reminded them about their forefathers who had experienced even greater hardship in Egypt. He reminded them that the God to whom they cried for help was the same God who had rescued their forefathers. “He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements.”
This same God, the God of their fore-parents, who had performed miraculous signs and wonders to rescue His people, would do the same for them. Yes, their God had heard their cries and, therefore, was making a way out of their dilemma for them. He would topple proud Babylon and open a way for the exiles to return home and to rebuild Jerusalem.
As God had rescued His people from slavery in Egypt and from bondage in Babylon, He does the same for us. He does it because of His great love for His creation.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 That is the message of Lent, love. Yes, love that went all the way to the cross.
That is why we have hope. We have hope because someone cared enough to come and die for our sins. Yes, someone really loves you and me.
God sees the desert and wasteland of our life and He says, “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” That is a promise from God. His promise of hope is most definite and unchanging. Don’t throw in the towel; don’t give up. Hang on in there. God is on our side, and He will sustain us. Amen.
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.