Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 30:18’

Jo 23I have discovered we own an extremely polite washing machine. On those rare occasions when I happen to be standing nearby when a wash load finishes, it sends me a sweet, little message via the control panel: ‘Finished! Have a nice day!’ But recently, I found a much more distressing message there. After hearing a little musical summons emanating from our laundry, I went to investigate and found the following: ‘Help! My load is out of balance. Please redistribute load, then press start.’

Of course I did as instructed. I hauled those wet towels around, spread them out more evenly—and my trusty washing machine went spinning on its merry way.

Yet that desperate message my washing machine had sent stayed in my mind long after. Could God perhaps be prompting me to apply this to my own life right now? After all, there have been many times when my ‘load’ has indeed been severely out of balance. Hmm …

It’s so easy, isn’t it, to throw ourselves into all those tasks and responsibilities we have, forgetting key things like rest, like self-care, like close relationships—and like close connectedness with God? Sometimes we need that moment of shuddering to a standstill, as my washing machine did, before we realise we need help to change and somehow redistribute the load in our lives.

For quite a while, I have missed nurturing that more creative side of me that is fed by losing myself for hours in writing my next novel. I know the time will come later this year when I will hopefully find those hours again. But meanwhile, I need some sort of creative outlet. So for that reason, and also to prepare something that could be displayed at our church’s upcoming Art Installation, I decided to create a piece of writing based on John 9. I then used a special bronze metallic pen to handwrite these words on black cardboard and, as I did, I could feel that peace and calm I so desperately needed enfold me once again. God was so wonderfully near, as I recreated that amazing account of how Jesus healed the man who had been born blind.

In the process, I recalled a warning in Isaiah that has often reminded me in the past to stop rushing hither and thither, relying on my own strength, and instead, to listen to God and live and minister the way God sees is best for 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, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Like God’s people back then, I have to own to being obstinate at times and wanting to go my own way, so that I am danger of being left desolate, ‘like a flagstaff on mountaintop’ (30:17). Instead, I need to look to God to find the best balance in my life and to walk humbly in God’s love and grace on a daily basis.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! 30:18

That is God’s amazing heart of love for me—and for you too.

Read Full Post »

I have discovered I am quite an independent person. I don’t like to admit even to myself that I need help. And I certainly don’t like asking for it. To me, it seems I am inconveniencing others or treating them as less than equal when I burden them with this or that mundane request. Yet it’s something I have had to do in recent times.

I came home from hospital last week, after having a back operation. While there, I felt very blessed by the gracious way the doctors and nurses attended to my every need. I recall with thankfulness how my lovely neurosurgeon came to explain what he was about to do just prior to my operation. I remember the patience of the nurse who tried to make me comfortable that first difficult night after the operation. I am so grateful for the one who helped me take my first shower and for the kind physio who walked slowly alongside me as I took my first steps outside my room. And all the while, I was learning a new skill—that of humbly receiving help.

Here at home, I am still learning. I now realise the folly of trying to get up from our too low lounge without calling for help from my husband. And I know I can’t change that dressing in the middle of my back myself. I am getting used to giving simple cooking instructions without feeling I should just get up and do it myself, rather than allow my husband to stumble through unknown culinary territory! I have had to learn to receive wonderful casseroles from a loving daughter who is so tired herself as she prepares for the birth of their second child. And with grace, I accepted that lovely bag of goodies left on our doorstep by a friend who has so much illness to deal with in her own family.

Already I can see something of what God is teaching me. I am beginning to allow others to do their job and not intervene. I am beginning to learn to show gratitude for their servant heart and to value who they are more fully. I am beginning to receive that love others want to show me as they minister to my needs. And I am beginning to learn to ask for help more readily, knowing this does not make me any less of a person and realising I can in fact bless the one who helps.

And finally it is beginning to dawn on me that I am learning something about my relationship with God through all this as well. It is God’s heart to care for me—and that heart is so full of perfect love, compassion, patience and healing. As my loving Father, God sees my every need and delights to use all sorts of means to provide for me. It is a huge lesson all over again in receiving from God’s gracious hand. And I am learning to rest in the midst of it and open my heart to all that wonderful healing mercy that’s coming my way right now.

How about you? Is it time for you to learn to receive too?

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

Read Full Post »