For the past few months, God keeps pressing the same scripture on my heart. I don't remember reading it until a friend of mine posted it in her status on Facebook. Once I saw it, it grabbed me and just wouldn't let go. It's Isaiah 43:18-19 and it goes a little something like this: "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."
I love this verse. What an awesome message from God. Forget the past...we're going to do something different. Something awesome, something great. I love the question in the middle: "do you not perceive it?" It's like God is looking at us in our doubt and our frustration and saying, "Seriously?" Somedays I read this verse and feel giddy with excitement over the big and wonderful things that God is going to do in my life.
Today has not been one of those days. Today I have had the most mundane, depressing, bourgeois thoughts possible. Today's thoughts have centered around things like unpaid bills and coupon clipping. Now I am convinced that there are people of greater faith out there that can look at the equation "my electric bill > my bank statement," utter a sincere "Hallelujah," and wait with joyful anticipation for God's provision in their life. There are those who clip coupons with a praise song on their lips and joy, joy, joy, joy down in their hearts. I find it difficult to look at those things, however, and also keep my eyes on God. I look at those things and start looking into my self, searching for solutions...and the best deal on toilet paper. And looking into my self is never a good idea. It's a mess in there.
I love those moments when it is so easy to see God. Standing on a huge pile of driftwood, staring out across the Pacific Ocean. Flying over mountain peaks, driving through rainbows. Watching the sun set from the top of a mesa. Holding your baby for the very first time. I have been fortunate enough to have so many of those experiences I couldn't possibly name them all. Sitting at my kitchen table today, mired in anxiety and scraps of the SuperSaver, however, they seemed very far away. I mean, I love the morning glories in my backyard and the blue Texas sky above me, but it's not exactly the Grand Canyon for awe and majesty.
I know if I will turn my eyes to God, I will see Him. Maybe not as a pillar of fire or a burning bush or anything, but He will lift my head up out of my circumstances and allow me to focus on His glory. So I sat down with my prayer journal and my Bible, determined to write it out, pray it out, and wait for Him to speak to me. And, of course, He did. I realized all those "mountaintop" experiences are right here with me, every moment of every day. I don't have to abandon my husband and children and run screaming to the coast; I can close my eyes and the ocean is there. I don't have to agonize over the loss of my oldest child; I can close my eyes and hold him in my arms again. Because God is faithful and good and I am only as far away from His love as I put myself. Maybe looking into my self isn't such a bad idea after all.