We have such a thirst for the latest, newest, most up-to-date things in life. The latest breaking news. Today, many of us want the latest word on when we can get our hair done or shop leisurely in a store, or linger in a restaurant dining room.
In February, I downloaded the digital version of “The Vision,” a book of daily devotions based on The Passion Translation of the Book of Isaiah.
I downloaded two or three other devotional books at the same time and hopped from one to another each morning as I started the day with a cup of coffee. I usually spend about 30 minutes to an hour in reading and thinking on what God wants to show me.
It’s been a few weeks now, these social distancing rules, and my morning routine is changed. I hit the snooze alarm every 10 minutes for about 30 minutes and finally toss back the blanket to get out of bed around 6:30 a.m. Then I get the coffee my husband made when he rose at 4:30 a.m. to go off to work, and I settle in with a blanket and my quiet time with the Lord.
Normally, after those 30 minutes to an hour pass, I’d get dressed to go to the office. Lately, I’ve just opened my laptop and started back to what work I left the night before.
But also, lately, I’ve noticed one big thing about my circumstances in “The Vision” devotional. It was released Feb. 4, before many of us paid much attention to the possibility of the circumstances we find ourselves in today.
I think I began working from home on March 18. Although I can and do leave the house to cover news items or photograph Gibson County, I spend my office time in my living room.
My March 18 devotion was based on Isaiah 26:20: “Go, my people, into your chambers and close the doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until his indignation is over.” The devotion that followed reminds us that when our peace is battered by trials, we know we are to be still and hide in His presence. Rather than be rocked by worry and fear or anger, “close the door to distraction, shut off the rest of the world and find the Lord’s heart.” Because all our scrambling for answers, all our worries about the economy — yes, all our frustrations about toilet paper shortages even! — are fruitless if we don’t rest in the peace of Jesus Christ. God will set things in order.
As I continued reading the daily devotions, I took a word for today out of every one of them, written way before Jesus was born, and millennia before I came on the scene.
On March 19, I read Isaiah 27:3, which told me God watches over his vineyard (His children), watering it in love and protecting it day and night.
The next day described Jesus as the vine and us as the branches, one with Him, our true source of peace.
Just about every day as I followed the book of Isaiah, I looked at it from today’s perspective. March 26, the devotion from Isaiah 29:13 told me to start low, bowed low before the Lord, bowed low, heart open, when no one else is watching…Alone is a great place to be. A freeing place. A vital place to go, often. Alone with Him….”
The last week of March was a tough time for me, with lots of things for me to do, and like the rest of you, a little uncertainty about how to go about doing them. Isaiah 30:18 reminded me to wait for Him to help me.
I won’t fill this space with a diary of my daily “ah-ha” moments from Isaiah, because they didn’t happen daily. Sometimes I read further ahead than the reading plan suggested. Other days, I got off track. I confess right here, I do that. I spent a little time caught up in what is around us instead of Who is within and around me at all times and in all circumstances.
The point is that when I return to the Word with a heart open to understand it, He never fails to bless me with a piece of wisdom and encouragement. Thursday, before I started writing, I read a week’s worth of devotions and had those “ah-ha” moments again, astounded at how relevant right now God’s Word is for me.
I loved this passage of the devotion describing how God “blazes through our excuses, motives, desires and failures, and like a tornado of glory, sucks us straight into His presence where in exchange for all of us, we get all of Him.”
There’s nothing stale about that news!
— Email Andrea Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org