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  • Writer's pictureSarah Johnson

She Walks in Renewal - Part 1

Updated: Jan 8, 2021


One of the devastations we have come to expect living in California is the yearly fires that flare up throughout our state and then burn through thousands of square acres of land. Sadly, people have lost their homes, their businesses, and even their lives.

Yet, often as I have come across the aftermath of such devastation, I have seen beautiful plant growth sprouting within these ruins. This picture of new life growing among the ashes is a reminder that gives hope after the storm, provides opportunity from the desolation, and promises renewal for beauty to take hold once again.

Closing the chapter on the year 2020 and all of the wreckage that the year produced, I can’t help but yearn for renewal, for new life to sprout out of the ashes and hope for the beauty of God’s will and presence to be seen. I’m not saying that just because we turned the page on a new year, it will automatically change our circumstance (although, that would be nice!!), rather it is my confidence, it is my hope, it is my heart that needs this renewal.

Isaiah 43 is a wonderful passage that takes us through a journey of renewal. It begins emphatically with God calling us His. But now, says the Lord who created you….. and He who formed you….do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by my name; you are Mine. We could stop here and this message alone gives hope and confidence that we are not on this journey alone, that we are loved simply because God created us. We can be redeemed because His love for us compelled Him to the cross. However, God thought it important for us to be reminded of Who He is.

Proceed through the chapter and it speaks of the journey that Israel (God’s people) have taken. God speaks of being with them through the waters, through the valleys, through the fires, and through the captivities.

He reminds them in verses 13-17 that He is Creator and King, He makes ways in the seas, and paths in the mighty waters. He also says He acts, and no one can reverse it. How many of you longed to reverse 2020?

Then in verse 18, He says to put away the former things and the things of old. This isn’t the direct application of this passage, but for me, God spoke to me to surrender my “old, former” lifestyle, my way of doing things, my perceptions of God’s moving and working, and allow Jesus to show me a new thing. The passage follows with “See, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth (out of the ashes); shall you not be aware of it?” I love this ending question: “shall you not be aware of it?” This gives hope to look for something new, to anticipate the work God is desiring to do in my heart.

Are you, like me, longing for a renewal of hope, of confidence, and of new life in this year of 2021?

  • Remember Who calls you His and has redeemed you.

  • Remember to confidently trust Him, Who holds all things in His hands and has infinite power over kings, over earth, and over heaven.

  • Remember to surrender the old and the former things so He can freely do His work of renewal in your heart.

  • And… Remember to look for it!

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