Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (NIV)
Recently, my eyes were drawn to a church billboard with the following: "Put on your shades; your future is very bright." How appropriate this is for the New Year ahead, I thought.
I have a choice. Either I can expect the New Year to bring a future so bright I'll need to wear my shades, or I can expect the New Year to be a long series of umbrella days. Packing shades for a trip to the beach is much more optimistic than always having the umbrella in the car, just in case it rains. The first option is filled with hope and anticipation; the second one contains a note of pessimism.
I thought of the children of Israel, captive in Babylon, when God sent them the message of hope through Isaiah in today's Scripture. Their future was bleak. They were trapped in a spiritual desert, but God remembered them and sent a message that they were not forsaken. Punished, yes; forsaken and forgotten, no. It would be a long time before the full sunlight of God's blessings fell on them, but in the meantime, there was hope for future generations.
Sometimes, all our days seem like umbrella days. We keep one nearby, just in case the expected rains come. In the midst of our rainy days, we need to have our shades near by. The future God is planning for us may be very bright. We need to be prepared.
Prayer: Lord, we know there are rainy days that come in our lives and we need to be prepared, but let us not forget the days when we need our shades because the future is very bright. Amen.