Assurance, Be Still and Know, Bible, Christian, Christianity, Comfort, Esther, Faith, God's Presence, God's Word, Hagar, Isaiah, Mary, Miriam, Naomi, Praise, Psalms, Rebecca, Rest, Ruth, Trust, Waiting on God
I’m camped once again in Isaiah, there at the transition, chapters 40 and 41. Reading and re-reading God’s words of comfort…
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel:
My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:27-31
Through the years and woven throughout the Word I’ve discovered how Scripture parallels life in the ebb and flow, the highs and lows.
In passages where the narrative sweeps me along, I’m caught up in the action, with Miriam, Ruth, Esther, Mary and others. Highlighted and preserved in sacred writings are periods of time when these women ventured into the unknown, seeing only the backside of God’s form—they thrilled at His promise and wondered at the intrigue.
At times in my life, too, I step out and hold on, trying so hard not to look down, amazed at the intimacy, fearful in the presence of transcendent Majesty.
Turning the pages I hunger for more.
Some passages beg me to stop and rest and stay awhile, to fill my jars and satisfy my thirst for as long as I want. There I linger at flowing, holy, artesian springs, whose fountains will never cease. And there I sit, with Bible in my lap, fixated on the same verses on those same two pages, for days in a row… taking refreshment at the oasis of Him.
When eventually I do turn the pages I find recorded God’s day-to-day activity among His people and with the nations: detailed descriptions of building materials, of procedures for preparations for worship, of antidotes for disease and sanitation guidelines, of methods and times for sacrifices and more. But I tend to skim over the lists, wanting to leave monotonous behind, to get to the good stuff, anxious to see God’s fingerprints stamped on the pages and across my life again.
Included are genealogies from thousands of years in the past, of individuals and families forgotten, unknown to you and me, insignificant in the greater story of humanity. Yet each one is permanently embedded upon God’s memory, etched in His purposes for eternity. Just as my relationships are paramount to me, God’s hoping we’ll take the time to get to know a few of His kids.
On some pages ancient songs, ever new, still beating with everyday relevance, call to me, reminding me of God’s goodness, filling my thoughts with choruses of praise, sung by countless generations of the blessed.
Where wisdom beckons across the text and between the lines, to give attention, to learn His ways…
When perplexity and amazement prompt me to think deeper and ponder higher, to be still for longer stretches of time, letting divine assurance wash love over me, lifting the doubt, removing the dust of my persistent earthy-ness, which keeps me from seeing clearly what is real…
Where His hand pulls back the black curtain just a bit, revealing scenes to come, giving warning, extending promise to those willing to listen…
Where Scripture mirrors life, and your life and my life mirrors their lives in chronicles inspired, the recordings of God’s willing obligation toward the very ones He breathed life to create, and then died Himself to redeem, I am once again reminded He is not a God distant, aloof, minding His own business in far-flung corners of the cosmos.
He is the God who is here. At all moments. In every era. For every culture. Past, present and future. The beginning and ending. The immortal I AM.
Whether God thunders or when He whispers, in the moments when His Voice is not heard, while He waits, or when I refuse to listen, I can know that He knows my need, just as He knew the void within Hagar and Rebecca and Naomi and all those before and since.
And He loves, beyond anything depth I can comprehend, loves me—human, molded in His image, with heart pulsing, laughing, weeping, embracing, dancing, plodding, tending—the same qualities then are still common now, in days past and hours present, all that was there is now here, where humanity meets Divine.