Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Look to the Rock

I woke to a morning of gray clouds and heaviness after a restless night. The weight of many worries settled on my shoulders, I stumbled to the place where I meet my Lord. 

Sometimes the only words we have are the scripted ones, but I believe Jesus gave us these words as a lifeline, always leading us back to Him when we get lost in the dark of this enemy territory. 

Our Father Who art in heaven... 

I began to sing this age old prayer and suddenly there was a new melody in it.  I cried out for His words of life - the true daily bread, and He gave them. The song became an affirmation of His goodness.

All good, every single good that exists is from Him... is Him. 

My voice failed and my heart cracked open and I poured out the sadness, the deep longing for redemption of all the terrible mistakes I've made.  But then He reminded me that Redeemer is His name and what He came to do. 

He is the One Who Saves. 

Light in the dark, key to the prison cell, physician to the broken-hearted.  Rebuilder of ruined streets and broken homes. 

I grabbed my Bible and sped to the book of Isaiah, intent on getting to chapter 61 that enumerates all His glorious ways of redemption, but on the way this heading caught my eye,

The Faithful Are Called to Courage. 

What?  I stopped and began to read chapter 51.

Isaiah 51:1-3 NKJV

“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
 Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.”

For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

What a fascinating command:  Look to the rock from which you were hewn. 

Abraham was a man willing to walk away from the comfortable and familiar and follow a Voice into the wilderness. He entered into covenant with this God and believed His impossible promise to make him the father of a nation. He believed despite a wrinkled and weak body of evidence screaming, "No way, that will never happen!" 

This is the rock from which we as believers are hewn.  We are the crazy people who step out of our comfort zones without really knowing why and believe promises that make the unbelievers laugh us to scorn, if we dare to tell them. 

And to Sarah who bore you.  Sarah, bless her, believed and received strength to carry a child in her very old age.  That's the real deal.  There's no faking that. Her body and his, as good as dead, and yet, God said, "Go for it. I'll bless you." 

And then an even stranger admonition. Look to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.  Look to the hole?  Yes, look at that gaping hole in the ground where God wrestled you free.  Ever fallen into a deep pit with no hope at all of ever being back on the surface with the sun on your face?  But God, He likes buried treasure.  He digs in dirt and pulls out rocks and says, "I know where this one will fit."  Jesus is the Cornerstone, but there are many more stones being laid in His house.  Look at that pit. If God can take you out of that ugly hole in the ground, surely He will be faithful to finish this house and make every stone in it a thing of beauty. 

For I called him alone. You may feel all alone. You may be all alone. On this journey, we often are. But He who called us is faithful.  He is a redeemer. He is a finder and fixer of lost and broken. He is a comforter. He is a gardener who creates incredible beauty in garbage dumps and deserts, places where glad hearts overflow with thankfulness and lovely melodies fill the air.  This is His promise. 

So no matter what it looks like around me today, I choose to hear the voice of my God, to take courage as I follow the only completely faithful One.  He will keep His promises.