This post has been written for the Five Minute Friday prompt “Present”:
I’ve been reading through Isaiah lately and it is in God’s incredible timing, as the lessons I’m being taught have co-incided with both what I and dear friends have been living through.
God has been opening my heart to receive His Presence as a gift of Love in the midst of my own struggles to love others in my own waning strength. In Isaiah, He shows us, His People, that He uses suffering to move us to release what resides deep within us, until we are emptied to receive what He pours in – His Spirit:
Isaiah 32: 15 – 20 (The Message)
Yes, weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured
down on us from above
And the badlands desert grows crops
and the fertile fields become forests.
Justice will move into the badlands desert.
Right will build a home in the fertile field.
And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace
and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood—
in safe houses, in quiet gardens.
The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,
the city showing off your power leveled.
But you will enjoy a blessed life,
planting well-watered fields and gardens,
with your farm animals grazing freely.
As He pours in His Presence, His Love becomes present in us and pours itself out upon others, as we are moved to plant “fields and gardens” that are “well-watered” in Him. Honesty cuts down pride. Honesty says: “we cannot do this”. Honesty says: “I need You, Lord.”
When we pour out ourselves, “shed honest tears”, “cry tears, real tears” (Isaiah 32: 9 – 14, The Message), the Spirit is given room to pour itself in to embrace us in Love, calming and delighting us to “live and move and have [our] being” (Acts 17: 28) in Him:
Zephaniah 3 : 16 – 17 (The Message, my emphasis):
“Don’t be afraid.
Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.