When Fresh Water Looks Familiar

We just set up a television in our office to display a calm waterfall scene.  So far, the scene has managed to distract me from getting work done because it is so relaxing!  My eyes are drawn to the water spewing out of the waterfall.  How does the water look so fresh every time, but the water is never replaced by an outside force (well, obviously, besides rain in real life, but in this picture, there is no sight of rain anywhere).

I feel like the word of God is accurately portrayed in the vision of a waterfall.

I’ve heard people ask for a fresh word from the Lord.  We want to hear something new from God, not something that we’ve heard before.  We’ve been following His direction about an issue for several months, and we need something new to follow.

Isn’t that so much like our culture, to always expect the new and unfamiliar?

Come on, God!  Let’s get on with it.

God really challenged my belief when I was brought to read Psalm 23.  Let me tell you, if I could get a Masters in a verse or passage in the Bible, it would either be Philippians 4:6-7 (thank you, anxiety) or Psalm 23.  I had to memorize Psalm 23 for one of my classes in my undergrad.  I had done a Bible study on Psalm 23.  I heard a speaker talk about Psalm 23 during another one of my Bible studies.  I had studied sheep and shepherds and understand the importance of the sheep and the shepherds.  I studied each and every word out of the study.  I analyzed every, single, verse.  I sucked the verse dry, as if it were a hose with a limited amount of water.

So, why was God leading me back to read it again?  Didn’t I already graduate from Psalm 23?  Where was my fresh word?  Where was God going to meet me?

I read the chapter, and nothing in particular stuck out to me.

But that is exactly what I learned.

See, I approach God with what I want Him to teach me.  I approach God expecting Him to speak to me, expecting a fresh word, expecting His Word to bend and mold so that I could be satisfied with new information.  But I realized that God isn’t going to change His Word for me.  He isn’t going to feed me new food when He has already provided me my daily bread.

When the Israelites wandered through the desert, they got sick of the manna that the Lord was miraculously providing them daily.  The LORD was literally making bread fall from Heaven, and the Israelites were mad that they had to have manna again.  They were getting sick of it.  They were so numb to the miracles of God that they had forgotten that their provision truly was a miracle.

Instead of expecting a fresh word from the LORD, I should be grateful every time I approach God’s Word because God speaks to me through His Word.  Even if He keeps repeating “I love you” or “I will provide what you need,” God is speaking to me.  Psalm 23 may be a familiar word, but the word will always be true.  No matter if I’m about to walk into a difficult season, if I’m walking through a difficult season, or I just came out of a difficult season.  I’ve learned through time that the LORD is my shepherd.  Even though I can believe that now, there have been times in my life where I’ve really had to trust God to provide financially or emotionally, and I’ve seen Him provide money for me when I need it, as well as peace when I was going through a panic attack.

In that moment I was getting a reminder of the times that God had revealed Himself to me as shepherd, and has taken me through the hard times.  If I was expecting a fresh word, I would have missed the wonderful lesson that God wanted to show me.  When we approach God’s Word, let’s not be expectant of a fresh word.  Let’s be humble, teachable, and let God speak to us through His Word.


Photo by Robert Lukeman on Unsplash

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