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 43:19 NIV)
I had just finished my university studies in Sydney, Australia. I was scheduled to return to my home country of Malaysia. I loved staying in Sydney for 5 years but knew I had to go back to be with my parents in Malaysia. Before I returned , I decided that I wanted to do a bus trip from Sydney in southeast Australia to Perth in western Australia. On Monday, I said goodbye to a couple I lived with all my 5 years in Sydney. It was difficult to leave the city I had grown to love.
The idea was to take a bus coach in Sydney on Monday and be on the coach for the next 5 days reaching Perth on Friday. It was on this trip that I had my first experience of a desert. As the coach bus moved from the state of South Australia to the state of West Australia, it was all desert. Growing up in the lush green tropical Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this was a new experience for me. My initial thoughts were, how can one live in the desert? There is no water. It is all sand. I think that deep down in my heart I felt I was going through a desert too. I was leaving Australia. One thing that gave me a glimmer of hope was that I hoped that I was going to work in Kuala Lumpur for a few years as a lawyer and then perhaps go to Regent College in Vancouver, Canada to do some Biblical and theological studies.
The change I was experiencing was really nothing new. Yet it was still unsettling. Although I had settled in Sydney for 5 years, I was actually returning to Kuala Lumpur, where I grew up. I was also returning to my family home to live with my parents. I had such a profound experience with God at University in Sydney. It affected me so much that I decided that I wanted to go to Regent College, Vancouver, to learn more about God.
As I sat in that bus coach I prayed to God that I might understand him as the God who makes all things new even though I might be in a desert. (Isaiah 43:19) That was more than 30 years ago. I have come to believe that it is true that God can make all things new even through time of change. Why or how? It is because as we go through time of change, there is only one constant; the eternal and everlasting God.