Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Isaiah 54:1-10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
burst into song and shout,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
and your descendants will possess the nations
and will settle the desolate towns.
Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
This is like the days of Noah to me:
Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Scripture tells us to find joy in all circumstances, to not fear, and to not be discouraged. These are not easy things for me to do. I can walk around for days feeling sorry for myself, and dwell on the raw deals I feel I have been dealt. I can focus so much on what is not going right, or what’s not going according to my plans, that I ignore the many blessings I have already received, as well as allow the ones I am given in the midst of my pity parties to go unnoticed.
I am not proud of this behavior, but I am working to improve it. Allowing others to gently steer me off the pity path is just one tool I use to stay mindful of how truly blessed I am. However, the most important tool I have at my disposal is Scripture. Not just reading the Scriptures, but believing them and owning them. Isaiah 54:1-10 reminds us to not fear (v4), to not be discouraged (v4), and to sing (v1) in the time of bareness. These are all things I must believe and make my own. Verse 10 is the beautiful bow atop this Scripture: “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
O Lord, I humbly ask that you help me to cling to you so that I do not fear, become discouraged or depend on myself to get through this life. Help me to be joyous in all circumstances and remember that all things work for the good of Christ. Through Jesus Christ your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go with God!