I wrote on Isaiah 41 last month, but for some reason God keeps bringing me back to it. Before I wrote on “Feeling the Void”. It turns out: God’s Spirit was giving me a premonition of what was to come. In October, I lost my job. Now I sit in the void, waiting with expectation…This time I want to remark on the beauty of God’s provision in these times of void. Thank you for everyone that has been a tool in God’s hand of provision thus far.
I often wonder why God- He who created the heavens and stretched them forth, He Who spread abroad the earth and that which comes out of it, He Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it, leads me into such desolate and hopeless situations. Sure sometimes it has been my own leading, but there are also times where along the journey, in the pursuit of righteousness, I am left in a place that seems a desert and I am parched for just a drink.
In these times of desolation, the cares of the world begin to fade. Your vision begins to narrow on what is really important. If I had no money, at least I would still have my dog. Hmm… what if he died? Well, I would still have running. It brings me such solace. Hmm…what if I was paralyzed? This is where my mind begins to go silly as it may seem. The one thing that I am left with whether imprisoned by poverty or actual chains is God and communion with His Spirit. My comfort no longer comes from money, my fury friend, a night run, or anything else. It can ONLY come from God, my Father. Blessed are the broken, for they truly shall inherit the Kingdom. Because when you are broken, when there is nothing left, this is when your perception shifts to the kingdom view. God is your comfort and your delight more than anything else.
It’s in these moments where you may not know from where your next meal comes that God feeds you by ravens. They swoop in from the east and the west offering to take you to breakfast, bring you dinner, buy you shoes… God uses these times to show you that what seems a desert is just you looking through the eyes of a limited and earthly perception. Instead of seeing a mirage of rivers, you are seeing a mirage of desert. He is the creator of all. He is omnipotent. Do you believe it? Though your eyes see a desert, can you look past to the wealth of the Lord’s kingdom? You are His child, prize of His eye, daughter/son of inheritance. Nothing is beyond your reach. God wants you to look past this worldly mirage to trust that in this desolation, He will make rivers and pools. He has confirmed in His word:
When the poor and needy seek water and there is none and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them. I the God of Israel will not forsake them. …I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. Isaiah 41:17
When we are working the 9 to 5 daily grind, often times I found myself arbitrarily thanking God for my job with the same nonchalant way that I thank him for food with my head bowed at lunch. Although this provision comes from God, it also comes in the form of a paycheck deposited neatly and on time into our safe, organized, little bank accounts. It does not cause our perspective to shift to the heavenly each time the money is deposited. (At least not for me, it doesn’t) . But when this process falls through, we are crushed. How in the world will we survive without direct deposit?
God brings us not only to the point of thirst but also to the point of impossibility to show us the miraculous and unique ways of His provision. He takes away the orchestrated, organized system to create a optimal situation for implausible provision. He is able to demonstrate His power and control over all things and all situations as circumstances line up in such a way that can be nothing other than His hand. Our trust is renewed, and God is revealed. Through His unmistakable provision, He reveals how much He wants us to KNOW Him. Aspects of His character are uncovered. He shows Himself not only to be a good father and provider and mover of mountains, but One who has the influence to move others to love. How beautiful it is when through acts of love all my needs are met and when God uses His other children, miracles, and His power to show His nature.
Why does He put us in situations that appear desolate? Why does He make streams in deserts? TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU! This is a prize that can never be snatched away from you. If the deserts give you just one glimpse, then rejoice in the desert for this will last eternally.
So that they may see and know and consider and understand together that the hand of the Lord hath done this…Isaiah 41:20