Isaiah 30

Hiding in the darkness

I would like to walk about life with the "burning in my heart" like the men on the road to Emmaus desired.  I want to walk with God and know that burning within my heart, but that very rarely feels the true case or state of my heart within me. A lot of the times I feel more like the people of Jerusalem described in Isaiah chapter 30.  Verses 19-21 tell the people of Jerusalem they will weep no more and when they do cry out to God, He will hear them.  Then he says, "Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction: yet the Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher."

There are many times we feel the darkness stronger than we do the joy and peace of God's presence.  But as Brennan Manning says, "The loss became the moment of grace."

When we face the moments of darkness when God feels absent and not burning within our hearts, those are the times faith is really established.  These are the places to look for God and learn to trust in His presence even when it does not feel like he is.  God will not feel present all the time.  This is a reality most of us are aware of, but most of us fear and worry in those times instead of trusting and realizing God's presence even then. Just because it is dark does not mean that God is not present.  Just because our heart does not burn within our chest with Blessed Assurance does not mean God is actually absent.  "Though the Lord may give us the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, the Teacher will not hide himself."  Just because it is dark does not mean he is hiding.

Even though it is dark, there is "a voice BEHIND you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"  Faith happens in the dark, but it does not necessarily mean the light will be turned on.  Faith simply means while it is dark you still trust God even if he NEVER turns the light on.

God waits

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you...He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you." -Isaiah 30:18-19 God waits for us! It is nice to know and yet, at the same time, unnerving to know that God waits to be gracious to us. We are inclined to wonder, "What is he waiting for?" I mean, come on God; go ahead and be gracious to me.

John Wesley reflected on this "waiting" by saying that God "patiently expects your repentance." God sits and waits for our repentance. He waits for us to repent, but he waits to be gracious. He is already prepared for his response to our repentance. He waits to be gracious. He already knows he will "rise up to show us compassion and mercy." God waits!

God patiently waits...for us. he is prepared to be gracious and merciful to us. That is his plan...when we repent. He "will surely be gracious to us AT THE SOUND OF OUR CRY." The outcome is already determined; grace and mercy. The only thing missing is the action; our repentance.. We are promised that God will hear our repentance and answer us with grace, compassion, and mercy.

God waits!