Today’s readings from church are resonating deeply. Isaiah 35 1-10 copied below..
I can always tell when I’m getting closer to embracing a lesson or changing because once I quiet down and open myself up the Bible speaks so clearly and intimately to me. It’s truly life-giving, and the words are alive. It amazes me how the words can at once seem foreign, vague and unrelatable, and then later spring to life serving up incredible soul food.
I started teaching CCD on Sunday mornings 3 years ago. I teach about The Old Testament to 6th graders, Luke’s grade. It is one of my favorite activities & they get into it because the Old Testament is exciting and dramatic. It is so fun to teach to this age group. & these kids are incredibly intelligent and spiritual. They really pull meaning from the stories and relate it to their lives.. The OT is full of family stories and lots of sibling rivalry.. They eat it up! But the thing I love most about the kids is that they’re so confident that they are loved. They have no issue saying God loves them, and there’s no shame attached.
I love the imagery and symbolism from Isaiah below. I know what it is to be spiritually parched. The wilderness mentioned below is a lonely place I’m familiar with and it can be found within the walls of my home and in my heart. And the flower not blossoming…I want to burst into bloom.
Although the verses could be simplified into a poetic talk on nature..I believe it is a message directed to each of our souls. It’s a beautiful love note. And this love is beyond any love here on Earth…its a divine love offered to everyone, unconditionally, 100% of the time.
Many times I read the Bible and the words escape me. I don’t care about them or my mind is so preoccupied with ME that I don’t stop and answer that gentle call back to my maker. I choose to do it my way rather than bask in that perfectly warm love. Why would I minimize this love that is always available to me? I’m convinced it’s because I am selfish. We’re all selfish, and we block ourselves… I worry, I obsess, I procrastinate,I take matters into my hands..(and I do believe these actions are self-important and small-minded, but mostly lacking trust in God) Today, I’m saying, Stop! to myself. I’m putting my way aside and accepting this invitation to come to him bravely and trust that this love is real and meant for me. The kind of trust my kids have in knowing that I love them and would gladly lay down my life for them. I’m going to rest in this AMAZING Fatherly Love that is so rejuvenating and freeing and peaceful. I’m going to accept this Love that’s offered to me at no charge. I hope you do the same..
Isaiah 35:1-10 NIV
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and the ransomed of the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.