“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.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Nicole looked out the side window of the car, counting the highway signs, watching the rain drizzle in small rivulets down the outside of the window. This trip to Grandma’s seemed to be taking forever. The sky was gray, the landscape was monotonous, the minutes seemed to drag by. She didn’t think she would ever want to see another highway marker or barren tree as long as she lived.
Finally, they got to Grandma’s house. Her little brother and sister piled out of the car, running excitedly up the broad steps onto the wooden porch. Grandma opened the door and enveloped them in a hug. Even Mom had a spring in her step despite being weighed down with three duffle bags. Nicole was the last to climb out. They were finally there. Their destination.
“Grandma!” her little brother exclaimed. We saw the strangest cow I have ever seen. It was all sorts of colors and had two huge horns coming out of its head.”
Her little sister piped up. “And we saw a tree that was in the shape of a heart. It had a huge trunk and two big branches that came out from the side and then came together at the top.” She demonstrated with her arms.
“Mom,” her mother chimed in. “You should have seen this rainbow. There were two of them, one right on top of the other. And the colors were so bright. It was the best rainbow I have ever seen.”
You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so…. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy! Psalm 64:9,12-13 (NLT)
Nicole was puzzled. She hadn’t seen the strange cow or the heart-shaped tree or the double rainbow. Were these people in the same car as she was? All she had seen was water running down the outside of the window and barren trees and highway signs. Maybe they hadn’t even taken the same journey.
Or maybe they had. Maybe Nicole had been so busy looking at the “bad” things about the trip that she couldn’t see the good. Maybe she was so focused on the destination that she hadn’t enjoyed the journey.
She thought about what Mom had said about their own family’s journey to restoration. That some parts of the journey might not be fun and it might seem like it was taking forever. But if they focused on what they were learning from the journey, they might even enjoy the journey itself. Mom had talked about how they were walking with God now and how this made any journey so much better.
Nicole thought about the family prayer time they had started and how they all seemed to be nicer to one another. She thought about all the little blessings that God had bestowed on them and all the times He had watched over them. She remembered how she felt inside when she truly forgave Dad and showed him unconditional love. She remembered how he had responded with a softened heart and how he had been reaching out to his family more and more. And even though her family had not yet reached their destination, the journey had been worth it.
“‘For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’ Deuteronomy 2:7 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska