Today’s Reading : Isaiah 43:1-28
The beginning of school and the fall season always bring back fond memories of times before. During these first weeks of fall for the greater part of a decade, Jillian and I, would be learning new music for our annual Christmas program. The pieces of music that always brought joy and excitement for me were the pieces from Handel’s Messiah, especially “For Unto Us a Child is Born”. This piece comes from Isaiah 9:6:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[b]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This passage from Isaiah, still gives me a light, joyous, and airy feeling. Then as I read today’s passage, Isaiah is giving the people of Israel a firsthand account of God‘s love for them. Isaiah is telling the actual words of God to the people… “Thus says the lord”… Upon reading these latter chapters you can actually hear a letter from God … a letter from your dad. In this letter it is filled with sadness and hurt from the father’s point of view. I imagine this would be similar to the letter of the Father of the Prodigal son. Can you imagine receiving a letter from your father that is detailing every thing that has happened in your relationship? In this letter he is showing his true heart.
Dear Child(ren), I love you more than anything in the universe. I loved you before I even thought of having you. I thought of you before your inception and conception. I loved you before you were even formed. Oh, how I loved just the thought of you. I remember the day that you were born. I remember the smell of your head. I remember the freshness of your being. I can still remember how you smelled … that fresh newborn smell. How I delight in your birth. I do like and love you in all your stages: in your childhood; in your teenage years; your adulthood; and your old age.
Oh, how I continuously love you. Yes, you have grown in many ways, but I still love you. There have been times that you and I have not seen eye to eye. You have grown up. You have grown into a person that has made their own choices. You have lived life.
I remember when you were a child and I held you and I cuddled you. I remember when you started to crawl and you started to walk. I was always there just moments away. I remember when you were a teenager and you rebelled. I was always there. Even though you may not acknowledge it or understand it, I was always there. When you became a young adult and started your life, you moved away. But I was always there. No matter what would happen to you I would just be a phone call away. I never left you.
Now as you are growing up, you want to space. I understand it, but I’m always here. Don’t forget, I’m going to send you some support for you. No matter how much you have moved away or attempted to hurt me, I love you. And this love will never fade.
So in Isaiah, God is writing us this letter. He is pouring out his heart to us. He is showing us that he loves us no matter what. And that’s not a question of if he loves us, but he does. And there’s not a question of how far he goes.
Isaiah 43: 1-3 Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
He has not forgotten you. No matter how hard it may seem, He states that he WILL be with you in the flood and the fire and forever.