This morning I was reading in Isaiah 9 about the darkness over Israel until they should see a great light...Christ would be born. I read from chapter to chapter devouring the story line and understanding Isaiah in a new way. I literally could not stop reading. All through those chapters it is very clear what the Lord intends for, and has done to, those who refuse him. And yet over and over again we read “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” The message of His arm or hand being stretched out is written over 75 times in the Bible.
As I read this phrase over and over again, I was suddenly filled with images of Annabelle in her worst moments of frustration, her parents reaching out to her over and over again, even when she refuses and cannot see because of her little two year old understanding. I realized that I am very often the Lord’s two year old Annabelle. I felt his love wash over me as I envisioned his arm reaching down to me from heaven. It was clear that I could not stop reading this morning because this was the message He needed me to see.
I have had a rough summer with construction chaos, fire, & flood disasters, managing workers, a house full to the brim with bodies big and small:)... and a serious lack of any down time. I spent the summer avoiding God, not wanting to learn "this lesson" of challenges because whatever this was preparing me for..... I want no part of it! I was trying to do it all on my own as usual.
My prayers sometimes tend to be more like wrestling matches than peaceful communing. It can be a mighty struggle to keep my mind focused, instead of the usual spinning and racing of a multi-tasker. I am glad his arm is always there, waiting for me to reach up. I am grateful that everyday is a chance to try again. I understand a little more about how He really feels about us because of the grandbabies. There is a bit more mercy and understanding in my weathered heart now. He is not a punisher, but restores, redeems and pleads for all of us. I understand His pleading on our behalf more as I sometimes plead Annabelle’s case, much to her parent’s annoyance:)
I have more hope when reminded of his outstretched arm. I feel more motivated to keep enduring. I feel more love for the people around me. I have less meltdowns;)
My heart overflows with love for each of my family. I feel that intense love for them no matter what happens. He feels the same for me and is constantly reaching out, hoping I will look up and take his hand to help me along my way...which is precisely the miracle I needed to be reminded of this morning.