Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for a peace at this time.
Isaiah 35:4-7a (NRSV)
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
The wonderful scroll of Isaiah records these words of comfort and promise near the middle of its text. They turn our attention from the judgment of the first half of the book to the hope and salvation that begins in the story of God’s miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem in chapters 36-37. Sometimes we find it hard to trust God’s call to minister. We are small and weak (v. 3). We fear we cannot do what God calls us to do (v. 4). Our congregation has seen many challenges of health in the past year. We have had younger people stricken with cancer and older ones facing dementia. We pray and God works miracles of healing in some cases. In others the illnesses linger and death comes. We ask why and turn to passages such as this in Isaiah. It is not that God is not strong enough or that our Lord Jesus Christ could not open blind eyes, or heal the lame to leap like deer. We know he did in his earthly ministry. Yet he gave up his own life that we might live. God’s ways are not our own. The promised gushing of streams and pools of water will not be complete until Jesus returns and restores life and salvation for all who trust in him.
We pray for those we know who are ill and in need of your help and strength right now. Please be with them and show us how we can minister. Lord, we trust in your return and salvation so that all we see of your work now is a foretaste of the age of life and salvation that your sacrifice on the cross and your resurrection assure us will come.
Go with God.