Monday, August 31, 2009
I had to prepare a five minute speech for critique, so I prayed about the scripture, and finally settled on Isaiah 30:18. “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you…”
On one of my preparation days, I went to my Promise Box with its weathered cards. I pulled one out, breathing a prayer for the Lord to speak to me. Isaiah 30:15 looked back at me: “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’” I breathed out, smiling, for this preceded the verse I had chosen. It seemed the Lord was saying, ‘Yes. You’re on the right track.’ He is gracious.
Usually, preparing to use Scripture in people’s lives is life giving to me, but this short speech was stressing me out! It was for critique. Not really for life change. Or so I thought.
Back to the study, verse 18 read, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion” (NIV).
I thought of Queen Elizabeth extending her hand to a dignitary. She would not rise from her throne to extend her hand to someone unimportant. In contrast, our gracious God rises from the highest throne, longing to show us mercy, waiting to be gracious.
I finally gave my little speech at the She Speaks Conference. I was nervous, but knew this grace focus was God’s gift for me.
The last day of the conference, after the closing address, each attendee was given an opportunity to go to the cross and select a card with a verse on it. Six hundred women streamed up to two stations where cards were scattered at the base. Tears, scribbled notes, hugs, meditation, and prayer were all unfolding. Grace was pouring all throughout the room.
I finally walked up asking God to put my hand on the card He had for me. The high gloss paper slipped, but I knew I was not to select another. On the way back to my table I read, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’”
I wanted to laugh out loud. I did, but with restraint. Oh thank you, Lord! How gracious! How kind to press that promise into my heart one more time. You’ll give me strength if I’ll just trust You. You’ll overcome weakness if I’ll rest in You.
If only we wait on Him, Grace waits.
For Your Consideration
Do you have something perturbing that you need to bring into God’s Presence? Something you need to let go?
Can you imagine God waiting on you? How do you best wait on Him in hard times?
Observe the blessings of trusting God in Isaiah 30. Can you apply any of these to your life right now?