Tuesday, July 7

A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

God gives us life in the emptiest of places. I recently read portions of Isaiah 58 using The Message translation. It was a good reminder for me.  God will take our brokenness, what we are experiencing now, and rebuild on the solid foundations he has laid in our lives. But prior to the rebuilding there needs to be a “breaking down.”  

“If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
    quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
    and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
    your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.”
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
    firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
    a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again. Isaiah 58:11-12 The Message

Isaiah is addressing followers of God who had been defeated and taken into exile in Babylon. In verse 9 he identifies where their behavior needs to change.  In verse 10 – 12 he brings a message of hope, highlighted by the promise of a “full life in the emptiest of places.” This full life is built upon that which was broken down. It is a very clear picture of self-reflection and confession of sins. God helps tear down our walls so that a full life can be built in the emptiest of places. 

During the unrest of the pandemic and the strife amongst people in our country much is being broken down. God can use the breaking down in order to restore, rebuild and renovate. When you return to God, with a broken heart and broken spirit He will rebuild. He promises to take the rubble of your past and build anew on His foundation. He will do that for you. Through you He can bring hope of rebuilding to others. What a promise!

Heavenly Father, we come before you broken and weary. Please show us the way to go. Please show us where we can spread your love. Give us life in you in the emptiest of places, may we glow in this darkness as your people who have life to the full in and through your Son, Jesus. Use us Lord to be a light to this nation and the world. Amen.