Hope in Devastation

“…But you never ask for help from the One who did all this.

You never considered the One who planned this long ago.”

Isaiah 22: 11b

Let me give you some context – Isaiah is outlining a message he received from God about Jerusalem.  In it, he sees the entire city in a “terrible uproar” (verse 2).  There is death and destruction everywhere.  After describing the state fo the city, he describes the actions of its citizens in response.  “You run to the armory…you inspect the breaks…you store up water…”  It goes on like this for several verses.  They are trying to respond and take care of things.  However, the response that should happen, never does.

“But you never ask for help from the One who did all this.  You never considerd the One who planned this long ago.”

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Golden Tears by Gustav Klimt

There is a lot of depth, questions, and answers in this chapter.  “The One who did this.”  What is the “this?”  By my earthly standards and interpretation, it is the devastation of an entire city, a lot of families, a lot of people.    Isaiah even says, “Let me cry for my people as I watch them being destroyed.”

We see natural and man made disasters every day.  People, cities, countries are being destoryed as I write this, as you read this.  “The One who did this.”  God allows things to happen.  Things that don’t always make sense and seem unfair to us on earth, based on our limited human understanding.  One of the hardest things for me to learn after AIDS stormed my life was that God has a plan and I don’t need to know it.  The first part was easy to accept, but the second part was not.  I think I need to know and control everything.  It is typically effective professsionaly, but not in faith.  I have to trust that He knows better than I; I have to trust that He has a purpose.  I have to hold onto the fact that no matter the devastation, there is hope in “the One who did this” – because, after all, He “planned this long ago.”

There he will remove the cloud of gloom,

   the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.

He will swallow up death forever!

   The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.

He will remove forever all insults and mockery

   against his land and people.

   The Lord has spoken!

 Isaiah 25: 7-8

We can move forward through the devastation with the knowledge that “the Sovereign Lord will wipe away all the tears” for us as He also promised Jerusalem.  We don’t know for sure if it will be in this world or heaven for each of us, but we know that He has plans for us for good (Jeremiah 29:11).

So, it is a conscious decision in times of devastation, large and small, to trust in the “One who did this and planned it long ago.”  To trust that He allows things to happen that can ultimately work for His good.

-S

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