Streams in the Wasteland

As well as setting out God’s plan of salvation, the Bible gives us instruction about how we should live and helps us to know God better and his purpose for our lives. Here’s what a passage from Isaiah meant to me at a particular point in my life.

Isaiah 43:18-21 (NIV)

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.

The wild animals honour me

the jackals and the owls,

because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,

to give drink to my people, my chosen,

the people I formed for myself

that they may proclaim my praise.


The wasteland

Some years ago, I found myself without a job and without a clear sense of vocation.


Finding purpose

I took time to seek God about his purpose for my life. Members of the church were running a personal development course and I enrolled. The course included a simple exercise about finding your purpose; I realised that God was calling me to improve the quality of maternity services.


Small steps of obedience

To realise the purpose, I needed to take many small steps. Some of these small steps I found scary at the time, yet now I wouldn’t give them a second thought! The small steps of obedience led to new doors opening. For example, an email led me to write a blog for an influencer, which led to me to write journal articles and discover a love for writing.


His power is made perfect in our weaknesses

I have two weaknesses in seeking to improve the quality of maternity services: I’m neither a clinician nor a parent. How could I possibly be effective? But Christ’s power is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). Without the knowledge or experience of a clinician or a parent, the Holy Spirit helped me: connect with like-minded clinicians and parents to find solutions (which is more effective than telling people what to do); and study the topic to gain knowledge and understanding (so the work is based on evidence about what works).


Streams in the wasteland

The wasteland – where I was without a job or vocation – was the time God did a new thing in me. In seeking his purpose for my life and putting that into practice, I flourished. He provided two ‘streams’, or sources of life. First, He connected me with like-minded people. Second, he gave me knowledge and understanding. These ‘streams’ led to a vision and strategy for the work. I also felt that I was expressing myself – my character and personality – through work in a way I’d not done before.