“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
God does new things in us, but rarely does He do so when we are in a place of sameness. Over and over in His Word when someone was brought to a new place, a season there was something new required both outwardly and inwardly.
Change requires change.
Sometimes the change required is drastic, sometimes the change required seems foreign but by being open to the possibilities that change can bring is where hope enters in.
I remember several times in my life where I had hit a wall; I was desiring change within my situation. Whether it was relational, health related, emotional, all these things required some sort of action on my part.
In the Old Testament, Naaman was afflicted with a skin disease that brought him both emotional pain and physical pain. Daily he was pressed by something that likely stifled him in every facet of his life. I can imagine the bitterness that must have seeped into his bones as he awoke every morning feeling no different than yesterday. I can imagine the resentment he must have harbored towards those around him whose bodies weren’t seeping with sores. I can imagine the sorrow that gripped his body and held him tightly prisoner within.
Namaan wanted out. Namaan wanted out of his body. Namaan wanted out of his oppression. Namaan wanted God to heal him, without him doing anything new.
The prophet instructed Namaan: go dip in the river 7 times.
“Dip 7 times and you will be healed.”
I imagine his frustration.
“Can’t you just say the word”
“Yes…but then that would require no faith”
So he dipped. He dipped in the water 7 times before he was healed. He did before he saw. He moved before he saw the result that was spoken into eternity became visual to his physical eyes.
Dipping in water? Did the dipping make him whole? Did the water purify his sores?
Or…did new thought patterns change his perspective?
Or did obedience foster change? Or did his faith remove the sores? Or was there ‘something in the water’?
I believe it was a multitude of things that healed him in those waters that 7th time. In his obedience, he surrendered his own need to be in control. I’m certain in his heart he was wondering if this was serious. But obedience forced him to say,
“I don’t understand this but you must know something I don’t.”
It took faith to obey.
But perhaps it wasn’t the first time that he dipped that his faith was there. Perhaps it took a few times before his faith developed, this happens when we obey. We do something we don’t understand and in turn develop faith.
I think of how my kids just blindly obey me when I tell them crazy things like brush your teeth and floss. They don’t understand or maybe don’t want to—but they obey. Faith and obedience go together. Faith says I believe you, I trust you.
Dipping looks more like surrender to me than just wading in waters and plugging your nose.
Dipping looks more like cleansing.
Dipping looks more like dying to self. Going beneath the waters and coming back up again in order to experience renewal.
Where do you need to dip? What change do you need to make? What move do you need to make? What perspective shift do you need?
What peculiar thing is the Lord asking you to do to just trust Him?
God operates in the most peculiar places. God operates in waters greater, deeper and wider than us. God operates when we dip, when we surrender making streams of water in the desert.