God in His ever present faithfulness - when I inclined my ear - instructed me to read Isaiah 40. And God - as if I'm surprised - gave me fresh words. Although Isaiah 40 has been around for quite a long time - it along with much of Isaiah is new to me because of the perspective I've been reading it from. I've included the entire scripture...and in my fascination of it's timeliness I've highlighted in bold some awesomeness I felt strongly given from God to me. I'm so amazed in my lack of faith God continues to seek me out and positions me for greatness. I'm also amazed and blessed by Isaiah's faithfulness to listen and record God's Words for His people.. And that God in all His knowledge and wonder would keep it alive and give it the ability to breath and resuscitate life long after its written.
"Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins. A voice of one calling:
"In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever." You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
"Here is your God!" See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. With whom, then, will you compare God?
To what image will you liken him? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it. A person too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
to set up an idol that will not topple. Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God"? Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:1-16, 18-31 NIV)
I love that my God considers me and my family (verse 11 - He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
I've felt a special sort of grace through this process of release - through this season of preparation and change. So much of me has had to be removed and so much of Him has had to be replaced in just a short amount of time AND so much truth has had to be believed that I knew God has shown me more clear and GENTLE grace. Grace to accept change - to accept the unknown - to accept the truth of His calling. God gave us Pax - not some random act of kindness and even now I believe He is tending to that gift.
Verse 11 means so much to me too because the last week I've wanted to be bundled up in Him. Everyday I'd sit on my couch praying He would swallow me close to Him - as if I desperately needed it.. Because I, infact, do! I still feel like that today - not just to be in His presence but to be able to place my head right near the heart of God. So close I can hear and feel it beating - while my body is nestled under His arms. That's comfort.
Thank God for God! Thank Jesus for mercy! I'm find myself thankful and increasing in faith.