“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up. Do you not see it? I am making a way into the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
Now that is a promise! Instead, what I often focus on is the here and now that is right in front of me. I measure the work that God is doing based upon the “wish list” that I’ve given Him. If things aren’t getting answered and checked off that list quickly, and in the way that I want them to happen, then I pretty much assume nothing worthwhile is being done. The result is that I feel like I am in the wasteland, no water to be found, and definitely nothing new and exciting is happening!
I see case plans going ever so slowly through the court system and it seems that a child will be in foster care forever. I see a child’s behavior seemingly stuck in the trauma with no improvement in sleeping, attachment, following directions, honesty, and angry outbursts. I see a calendar, and it seems like there is no possible ways the timeline for paperwork, decisions, red tape, and approval can ever get done within the days needed. I see a biological parent who makes huge gains, only to fall back to old ways, and it seems as though we are at square one. I see a huge lack of resources for children in foster care, and despite our best efforts, it seems like there is a never a net gain. I see a plan for Joy Meadows and buying a home and property, and then delay on finalizing plans. I see sweet foster moms who are asked to start looking at the child they’ve cared for as part of their forever family and making plans for adoption, only to be faced with a new plan that might include a forever good-bye. That seems like a wilderness and wasteland all around me. It seems like God kind of forgot my prayer list and there is pretty much nothing new happening and instead, just the same-old, same-old of brokenness.
But here is the exciting thing! God moving is not dependent upon what I can see in front of me! Right there in Isaiah 43:19 God asks us to look at things from His perspective. God is always at work. He is always on time. He is always moving. He is always in the business of creating something new. If we just ask Him to help us see, He will show us the amazing things He is doing all around us. So I need to get rid of my “wish list” and ask God for Him to show me what He is doing so I can jump on board and celebrate in that. He alone can make a way in the wilderness and it won’t just be a tiny path. He’s going to make it transformational. He will bring “streams to the wasteland” (43:19) so it won’t be a wasteland anymore.
God, open our eyes to see what you are doing! Let us perceive it every day, and let us be a part of your good works. Let us celebrate that you are victorious in all things at all times.
-Sarah Oberndorfer, foster mom and Chair of Board of Joy Meadows