'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
The Judeans were traumatised. Their capital had fallen to their enemies, they had been forcibly exiled to Babylon and even their king had been led off in chains. The loss was devastating and it must have been hard for them to believe things could ever get better. But through Isaiah, God speaks to Judah – hopeless, traumatised and far from home – and proclaims that he has a plan. The people might even have stopped believing things could ever be different for them, but God is doing a new thing. Their enemies will be toppled. They will go home. There is still hope.
When we’re used to things being a certain way, it’s easy to assume that this is the way things will always be. We often expect God will operate within our own preconceived ideas of what’s possible, and it’s simultaneously wonderful and disturbing when God disrupts those ideas. The truth is, we can never predict what God will do.
At BCT, we’re learning to expect the unexpected. When LVLE (our partners in DR Congo) agreed to train a group of pastors in handling child witch accusations, they hoped to make a difference but they could have had no idea of just how much God would do through them. After the initial workshop in Masisi, the pastors’ attitudes towards children had been transformed. Some had previously actively encouraged accusing children of witchcraft, but all were now steadfastly committed to protecting children. And even better was to follow when the LVLE team returned for a follow-up seminar this year: the pastors revealed that they had met with the local authorities to discuss how to safeguard children and ensure that laws against child witch accusations would be enforced. Even the police now wanted to receive LVLE’s training on the issue. In a context where children are frequently abused with impunity, this kind of progress is astonishing.
God had made a way. He had gone far above and beyond what we and our partners had believed was possible and transformed a dark and seemingly hopeless situation.
How wonderful to be reminded of what God can do. Nothing is impossible for him. He is in control. He is making a way.