a new thing

Over the weekend, dear Danielle and I went to the store and decided to do a little springtime shopping. We picked up some herbs and plants, a bird feeder for the robins and cardinals around our place, and some new soil for plants we already have. A couple of those plants have not been thriving, so we figured some new soil and an upgraded pot would help. It was so much fun being able to spend a day breathing fresh air and giving life to new plants. As we got our hands dirty, we re-potted our snake plant, as I pulled out the plant, we immediately noticed some root rot, due to it having too much water. On the surface the plant looked fine, but when actually dealing with the root, we saw it needed to get rid of the old before a new thing could thrive.

I think about that in the context of my own life, I can be really good about appearing to have things figured out, but on the inside, I’m terrified of the unknown. That’s why I have been focusing on the word of “faithful” for this year, because I want to grow in the trust I have in Christ. As I lead our family, I want to be the best I can be for dear Danielle, and the calling I know God has placed over our lives. What I am continuing to learn through my quiet times, is that sometimes I have to kill the past in order for a new thing to thrive in my life.

As I read in the Old Testament, I am so encouraged by the faith of the Israelites, because it is imperfect and honest, just like me. My faith isn’t perfect, and honestly no one’s really is (be careful of those who say they’re perfect), we all sin and fall short of God’s glory. The Israelites time and again struggle to stay on the clear path, even when God has done miracles before their eyes, they still falter in their trust. The beautiful thing is, God continually provides them with a new hope.

Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “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.” I have found that as I grow and move forward, memories of difficult seasons come to mind, and often cause me to be afraid of the new thing god is showing me.

I spent a year as an interim youth pastor, after I had interned with this ministry for years previous, it made sense for me to step in and help, and it became apparent that I was not going to be anything other than the transition guy. It was a difficult season for me, I was working alone, the people surrounding me didn’t try to help me succeed. It hurt, and made me feel unworthy of the calling that has been placed on my heart.

I’m not saying this for pity, or to have people angry at this church, it was simply not where God has called me to be.

It was painful moment of spiritual attack and the cuts went deep. This was years ago, and while I have been in the process of healing, I hang on to the past, when the reality is, I need to get rid of the root rot happening in my heart.

I focus too much on the negative, and while what happened was not right, there were powerful lessons God taught me and revealed in my heart during that season.

I am so thankful for the new thing God continues to do in me and dear Danielle, I have so much true joy in my heart, because as I read scripture, I know who I am. You and I are both made in the image of God, knit in our mother’s womb, and created with intention.

We have a God that loves us, who will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, even when we don’t deserve it.

What I see now, that I didn’t see then, was that God loved me and wants me to be who he designed. I love to laugh and love people well, no matter where I find myself, I can make that happen by having faith.

God is doing a new thing, it’s time to prune the pain of the past to let it thrive.

As dear Danielle and I were putting our plants in their new pots, making new soil, and getting rid of the root rot; I was reminded of how God is continually fixing me. I am in a constant process of growth, just like you. Some events prune things from our lives, and while it might not feel good, it’s better for us. I thought back to my last day as the transition guy, packing up my office and taking down the comics I had on the wall, no one really said anything to me or reached out; it was a moment of pruning. God was moving me out of something that wasn’t for me, and at that same moment, I remember my good friend Parker stopped by, and said thank you to me for the work I had done in the past year that got him ready to be in the right spot.

I remember that moment, because that’s what matters. People matter, God calls us to love him with everything and love people like ourselves. I need to remove the root rot, and allow the good roots to thrive.

I am so thankful for those kind words on a tough day. It reminded me that God is doing a new thing, he always is. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is doing a new thing inside of us.

Remain faithful, get rid of the root rot, and focus on the calling that God has placed over your life.

-Joshua Thomas


About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

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