[notice]A fortnightly devotional based on everyday experiences.[/notice]
In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. “If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)
There is a little cactus on my desk at work.
It has tiny red flowers that blossom despite the stony ground or the infrequent watering.
My colleague gave it to me when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. A simple reminder, she said, that in the midst of tough and prickly circumstances there is still life and beauty.
Each time a new bud appears that little cactus tells me that no matter how unlikely it looks that life will flourish, a God who creates good things can beat the odds and create something new.
Sometimes life can feel very painful and sore. It can feel like our souls have been rubbed against a grater and nothing will ever be okay again.
At times like those I’m comforted that God has promised in Isaiah 66 that he will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.
That little cactus is a picture of that promise: living proof that God allows something new and good to be born out of the painfulness in our lives.
I must be honest if you’re struggling with pain in your life: hanging onto Isaiah 66:9 doesn’t make everything okay, it doesn’t take away the ache but it does breathe hope.
And some day’s hope is all you need to see tomorrow.
Knowing that God will birth a new thing, I believe a good thing, out of all the pain and fear and uncertainty in our lives allows us to see past the thorns, and glimpse a little bit of what God may see, a slice of a future filled with good things that he has for me and for you.
When I feel like giving up, I glance at the little cactus on my desk and I whisper a prayer that God will help me see the new things he’s allowing to be born.
Would it change the way you view your current circumstances if you realized that God can use them to do something new? Ask God to give you hope and the sight to see what he is birthing.