For close to a decade or so, I kept my little family of four well-planned with soccer practices, swimming lessons, youth groups, summer camps, movie nights, and birthday parties. In March 2020, all that changed. Thanks to a global pandemic, most of our “plans” went out the window. Now we spend our time fishing at remote ponds, turning old bricks into sparkly candle holders, creating scavenger hunts in the local forest, painting our kitchen floors with tie-dye (yes, it was meant for the t-shirts!), and playing games on the beach. Technically, my family time has gone from high productivity to…well, I am not sure.
Are we all just finding ways to pass the time while we wait for things to return to the way they once were, or are we actually discovering our “new normal?” If we consider what the Bible says, the latter thought is much more in line with what God is up to whenever we experience hardship that derails our lives. In the book of Isaiah, God says, “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.” – Isaiah 43:18-19.
This Bible verse has become a constant companion for the 100 Huntley Street production team in the last few months. It has become our anchor, our strength, and our guide as we create new content that meets the needs of a world hurting in unprecedented ways. It is also the scripture that we repeat to one another when we feel both exhausted from the pandemic and more compelled than ever to share the good news of Jesus. The world is in desperate need of God’s resurrection power, and we can see that here at 100 Huntley Street, now more than ever. Our YouTube channel has hit 100 million views, and many of these viewers are between the ages of 24 and 35.
Every day on 100 Huntley Street, we bear witness to the new life that becomes available when we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This new life can result in many outward displays, but it begins with the renewal of our hearts, minds, and souls as we submit to God in all areas of our being.
Let me show you what I mean.
A few weeks ago, my family was on what might have been our 100th hike of the pandemic, and we were all feeling a little down about experiencing another weekend full of no official plans. As we walked alone, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me see this moment in light of the resurrection power of Christ. No sooner had this silent prayer been prayed when a thought suddenly popped into my head. Immediately, I took action.
“What do you love about yourself, Benny?” The question came to me as quickly as I blurted it out. My youngest son stopped in his tracks and looked up at me. “My two different coloured eyes, mom!” He exclaimed in a tone that suggested the answer to my question should have been obvious to me. I couldn’t help but smile at Ben’s trademark bluntness.
I looked over at my husband, Jeff. Words were not needed; our youngest son Benny, who has sometimes felt so different from others it has led him to tears, was beginning to see his differences as something to celebrate. A prayer answered.
“Jake?” I said, implicitly posing the same question.
“I love that I am a strong, almost teenager and that I will be a courageous man of God one day.” He declared with the charming pomp of a thriving twelve-year-old boy. My sweet Jake, who used to struggle with his physical and emotional confidence, is now secure in his strength and power. Another prayer answered.
“Yes!” I exclaimed with joy.
Jeff and I exchanged knowing glances brimming with awe; God was actively working in the lives of our little boys, bringing new life to broken parts of them, and we were getting to bear witness to it.
What had begun as a mundane hike on another pandemic weekend had quickly become an opportunity to witness the creator’s work in our hearts, minds, and souls.
Hmmm. A heart softened. An invitation to let God do what only He can do. Moments of new life bursting forth.
Isn’t it just like the God of the resurrection to break forth new life when things look bleak and even hopeless? The God that defeats death and brings forth a new life, the creator of the universe that causes the sun to set and rise, is for you and me.
So is it possible dear friend, that even during this pandemic, God is doing a new thing, not just at 100 Huntley Street, not just in the life of my little family, but in your life too? If we consider what the Bible has to say and the fact that we serve the God of the resurrection, the answer is a resounding YES!