The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: The 100th Post

August 23, 2009

The 100th Post

I've thought long and hard about what I wanted my 100th post to be about. It's a milestone for sure, but the third anniversary of this blog is also coming up in a few weeks, and I wanted to have a celebratory post then as well. I wanted my 100th post to be true to where I am today -- which is not the happiest I've been -- but I definitely didn't want to have another post about sadness recorded in perpetuity.

But God, being the kind of loving Father that he is, provided a milestone for me afterall. This past Monday, I woke up with this phrase in my head:

He will make streams in the desert.

I knew this to be a reference in the Bible. I also assumed that "streams in the desert" was a pretty common phrase and one search on would glean at least five or ten references. Turns out, there's only one reference that actually uses that terminology. It's found in Isaiah 43.

Isaiah 43: 18-21
Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert."

You would think that I immediately went towards an attitude of praise. You would think that I said, "Thank you God for making something new! For giving me water to drink in what is a desert time for me." You would think, wouldn't you?

Instead, I immediately thought, "What former things am I pondering about? Am I living in the past? What do I need to let go?" So deeply ingrained is my Religious Guilt.

After the moment of sheer insanity had passed, I went and looked up the verses in several bible commentaries. The commentaries speak of how this is a promise God is making. That His "something new" was a prophesy about the coming of Jesus. But what moved me the most was this: that God was calling His people not to dwell on the great things of old -- because he was going to be doing something even better. I love that picture of a Father God smiling, smirking almost, as He says to us, "You ain't seen nothin' yet."

I spent the day teasing out these verses, meditating on them, chewing on them, praying for God to show me how that applied to my life today. I had three thoughts:

1. Sometimes, I remember good things that God has given me not with praise but with nostalgia, as if the great things that God has done in my life are a one-time, one-season sort of thing. But here, God promises bigger and better things. Don't even think about the great stuff I've done before, kid, He says, I got something even better.

2. His something better isn't in some distant future I can't see or even imagine. Now it springs forth, He promises, will you not be aware of it? Truthfully, my answer to that would be, "Erm... no, not quite aware of it." But it's also followed by this prayer, "Will You make me aware of it?"

3. Streams in the desert isn't just about sustenance and provision in hard times. It's also about doing an impossible thing. Finding water in dry land is close to impossible. I'm holding on to this as a promise that my God is the God of the impossible. There is nothing too big, nothing too monumental that God can not do. He's going to get water to bubble out of dry land. That's pretty awesome, if you ask me.

Life did not significantly change that Monday. I still went to work, I still cried at my desk, I still had to take long, deep breaths to make sure I didn't have a meltdown. But that night I had a dream about church, the next night a dream about relationships, and the third day, I was able to be a small, unexpected blessing to a friend. All the while I felt a certain peace. It wasn't just that God had spoken. It was that I had heard. It wasn't that God was moving. It was that He was letting me move along with Him.

That made me start to wonder. What if, just what if, God is answering every single one of my prayers and calling me to pay attention, to be aware? Or maybe He is answering every prayer and the things I've asked for just take a long time to come to pass. Maybe, just maybe, things are springing forth, the dry rocks are cracking, and living water is going to come bubbling up.

That's pretty exciting for a 100th post, don't you think?

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