Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
A survivor of a small plane crash found himself floating in the ocean. He’d been afloat for hours with no life vest, surviving by floating on his back. After so many hours, he was exhausted and thought the end to be near. In the darkness, he saw something coming toward him. It looked like a predator, so he slapped at the water, but still it came. As he slapped outward, expecting to be attacked, his hand struck wood. It was driftwood, arriving in the nick of time, as a flotation device, saving his life. He gratefully grabbed hold. What had been scary was now prized!
Later in his ordeal, he spotted land! Ecstatic, he started to kick his legs. After expending much energy, he realized that the wood he was grasping was being swept out from the shore by the outgoing tide. He had to make a choice – hold on to the wood and continue to float or let go of the wood and swim for shore, taking the risk that he may not be strong enough to make it. If he let go and was not strong enough, he would have plenty of time to think what a fool he’d been to let the blessing go. If he didn’t, he’d have plenty of time to wonder what might have been if he had swam for shore.
He let go of the wood. He realized that this blessing was a passing blessing, not meant to be permanent. Though scary and risky, he knew that, in order to reach the shore, he had to let go.
How many times does God send a passing blessing to help us stay afloat and we, in fear, try to make it a permanent blessing? God sends a job to allow us to raise our family, but, when the family is raised, we cling to the job, while the tide of time sweeps us along, floating in an ocean of empty things and missed purpose.
Not all blessings are meant to be a permanent part of our life. Some blessings are meant to be passing. Some people are meant to come and then go. Seasons will change. Situations change. Circumstances change. It’s an undeniable truth of life.
Each of us face times in our life when we are challenged to “let go of the driftwood”. We reach a time when we feel unfulfilled, knowing that there is more to life. God may be sending a clear message that the blessing we’re clinging to was never meant to become our permanent home. We know that possessions are not purpose.
God promises that He will do a new thing, make a road in the wilderness of our anxiety, make a river in the desert of our fear, but we must first know it! We must trust that the same God who sent the driftwood to keep us from drowning will make a way in the wilderness and provide refreshment in the desert. But we must choose to let go.
Not all blessings are meant to be permanent. Sometimes, they’re meant to be used, appreciated, and then released, in anticipation of the next blessing to come. Had the man in our story never let go of the log he would have almost certainly died. Instead, he let go, found himself exhausted, never made the shoreline, floated on his back yet a while longer, and was rescued by a fishing boat that sped him to a dock where a waiting ambulance sped him to the hospital, barely in time to save his life.
We must choose to believe that God is making roads in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. We also must trust when God prompts us to let go of what is holding us back and tells us to swim. God doesn’t promise that the shore we see is the one we will reach. He simply promises that He will bring us safely to the shore.
What passing blessing are you clinging to as permanent today?