When God Doing a New Thing Doesn't Look Like What You Thought

“Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~ Isaiah 43:19

Every December, I buy a new daily calendar for the year ahead. And every January, I sit down and fill in the blanks—the birthdays, anniversaries, school dates, and vacations we planned in advance. I find it comforting to know a few of the things that lie ahead, giving me something to look forward to as I flip the year’s pages. In spite of my few notes, the ocean of blank space in the months ahead leaves me wondering how everyday life will sneak in and fill them.

As I scribble here and there on the fresh pages, I thumb through the previous year and remind myself of the many ways life writes itself into being. All the detailed plans, game schedules and kids’ practices rub shoulders with unexpected surprises, both good and bad. Every year, I think, “What a full life I’ve led!” I smile at all I experienced over the course of 12 months. Yet, when I look at my day-to-day life, it often feels frozen in time, one laundry load, grocery run, and rejected article after another.

When I open a fresh calendar, so full of opportunity and promise, I want to believe God will do a new thing in the coming year. <<Click to Tweet

I envision big things, dream-come-true things, the newest of new things for me to scribble down. And then I look at the old year, and I notice how many of my weeks bleed into months that look exactly the same. Drop off, pick up, buy the gift, pay the bill, attend the concert.

When Isaiah speaks of new life springing forth, of water in the desert, or of a path appearing where there was none, I often envision these things as instantaneous, bold moves by the hand of God. But, when I look at real life, I wonder if I have the vision wrong. What if the stream starts as a trickle, a damp patch in the dry, hard earth? What if the life springing forth begins as a seed, and needs time and nourishment and patience to grow? What if the path only reveals itself one solitary step at a time?

What if this new thing God is doing in our lives looks like imperceptible change across our soul’s blank pages? What if He writes newness into our everyday, into the schedules and quotidian rhythms that sustain us?

Our day-to-day life is not about the big, new thing coming our way. It is about pointing our feet to walk in the same, obedient direction. Next year, as we flip the new pages on a fresh calendar, I hope we look back at this one and celebrate the new thing God is doing in the seemingly small. It’s in the everyday He sustains us.   

Kimberly Coyle is a writer, mother, and gypsy at heart. She tells stories of everyday life while raising a family, and shares her faith on her blog. She writes from the suburbs of New Jersey, where she is learning how to put down roots that stretch further than the nearest airport.

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