Isaiah 30:15, 18 "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved...
Where is your rest? Do you find respite within the distractions of activities or in the presence of the Holy One? Returning and resting in God is part of salvation. We know from where our strength comes. Salvation is a relationship with the Holy One of Israel.
Since God is sovereign, does it mean He overwhelms us without respect of our ability to resist? Does God's perfect plan exclude our responsibility? What is our role?
"In quietness and confidence is your strength...
The world tells us that winners take all and everything else is failure. The world tells us that enough is never enough and more is always better. But God's word says our strength springs forth from humility and obedience. Our willing dependence IS our strength. In quietness, we listen for direction.
"But you would have none of it...
Our hearts tell us; our minds remind us; our experience bears out the truth of God's eternal faithfulness but for some reason, we pull back. How can that be? If we abandon our confidence in the One who created us, then to whom shall we turn? What other authority can compare to the God who sent Jesus? We look away. All fall short.
Is this not the Original Sin in consuming from the tree of knowledge of good and evil; we want to be our own gods? We want to determine for ourselves what is right, what is wrong? We know so little yet claim such authority. We live an illusion which leads to disillusion.
"So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion...
The Lord waits. He patiently watches for us to turn around. His Holy Spirit pursues us from even before we are born yet He is SO loving that in all His power, all His sovereignty, He still waits. He waits for us.
How ironic. He waits so He can show us His love and compassion. While we struggle with life as we go our own way. One waits for us so we can experience love and compassion. One who knows us best, loves us most, and waits.
"For the Lord is a faithful God...
How much of what we worry about will really matter in 100 years? Only the things that are eternal will matter eternally. God is faithful. God is good. Does it make sense to stress over the temporal in exchange for embracing that which is a gift, and is permanent? God is true. God is faithful.
Blessed are those who wait for his help."
As you begin another week of praying, preparing, and planning for ministry with deaf and hard of hearing young people, remember the promise of God's presence. Remember He is Holy. Remember He is Sovereign. He is always good. Seek Him and He will be found. Knock and the door will open. Ask and it will be given. Be blessed. Be patient. Be assured that God is a faithful God.
"Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father be with you; and may the Holy Spirit come among you and disturb you and trouble you, and set before you an impossible task and dare you to do it; until in your desperation you fall on your knees and remain there until he fills you with his power, which alone will enable you to do it; and then... and only then may the Lord grant you his peace. AMEN"
(Benediction by Archdeacon Julian Dobbs of CANA)