Monday, December 20, 2010

Hope, Comfort, and the Promise of Eternity

"Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." A voice says, "Call out." Then he answered, "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" Behold, the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, a goldsmith plates it with gold, and a silversmith fashions chains of silver. He who is too impoverished for such an offering selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman to prepare an idol that will not totter. Do you not know? Have you not hear? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble. To whom then will you like Me that I would be his equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their hose by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. Wy do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me excapes the notice of my God"? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40

Okay, I know that was a long passage, but WOW! I must confess that since my son was born in Sept. I have been very depressed. I take that back, I think it started even before he was born, but no matter, the point is for the past few months I have been battling a depression like no other I have ever experienced. During this time, I have been a very angry person. Mostly towards my husband. Yet, I saw God continuing to work in my life, and answering prayer. Josh got a job for the winter that started just as the season ended for his other job, and some other things as well. So why was I so depressed you ask. I honestly do not know. Everything seemed like a huge weight upon my shoulders. All of the every day tasks and responsibilities that I have been accustomed too just seemed like a new burden each day. I know this sounds crazy, but more than once through this time, God just spoke to me that this time I was going through was not just a time of suffering for me to grow, but also to allow someone else to grow spiritually as well. Now, I'm still not sure who it is, but I have my guesses. 

Last night we had our Christmas program at church, and this year the theme centered on hope. I sincerely prayed that the message of the evening would reach those who had come to watch, but also those of us who had participated in putting on the program. And again, God answered my prayer in a way I never expected. Even though I missed some of the pieces of the program, the Holy Spirit was working in me. 

I should mention that Josh's new job has required me to get up much earlier than I ever would on my own, being that I have to take him to work and although he was supposed to start at 10 am, he has had to start at 5 or 6 am for the last week. The good part about this is that it has given me some much needed quiet time alone with God. I had fallen out of my habit of reading my Bible, but was able to get back into it during this time. However, this morning I was going to go back to bed and just do it later, but God was drawing me. First, Kai wouldn't stop fussing until I finally just got up. Then, I just couldn't stop thinking about reading my Bible. So I opened my Bible and was on the passage above. 

I didn't even get past the first verse when I realized, I was being drawn to read my Bible this morning, because God knew what I would be reading and how it would minister to my soul! O praise the omniscient God! I'm not even going to attempt to explain how this passage spoke to me, I think it's pretty self explanatory and I pray that it speaks to your soul as well.