“Everyone experiences times when life is so dark they don’t know where to turn. All they can do is cling to Jesus.”
That’s what I was told.
I believed them . . . I had no idea how to relate.
Jesus has always been my source of strength and deliverance, but I have never been in a place of utter hopelessness. I have never experienced heart bleeding, mind numbing, loss.
I’ve finally experienced the feeling of a WWII bomber demolishing my life.
I pick through the rubble, the stench of death, dust, and despair wafting to my nostrils. The city is crumbled, cracked . . . burying my hopes in a heap of splintered beams and powdery debris. I sink to the ground and finger a fragment of glass, a wilted flower, a dress torn in ribbons. Every object has a memory. A memory of what was when my life-city was strong.
I run to my high tower, my strength, my fortress in time of trouble. HE is indestructible and I locked myself behind his gates–trying to shut out the dark.
I never understood the desolation Isaiah wrote about until now. But the verses of regrowth, renewal, and rebuilding have never had as much power either.
Isaiah 61: 1 & 2
“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. . . to comfort all that mourn.”
These verses aren’t just for me. They are for us. Believers.
Jesus has anointed and sent us to preach good tidings and to bind up the broken-hearted.
How can we bind up the broken and proclaim liberty to the captives if we have never been broken and bound? How can we understand how to comfort in times of loss if we have never experienced complete desolation?
Then God sends a glimmer of hope to slice through the darkness.
Isaiah 61: 3
He promises to trade us:
Beauty for Ashes
Oil of Joy for Mourning
The Garment of Praise for The Spirit of Heaviness
“. . . that [we] might be called TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
Ashes, mourning, and the spirit of heaviness are all a part of his plan to be glorified! He shall trade our burdens of desperation for beauty, joy, and praise. When people see us broken and rebuilt they shall say we are “trees of righteousness.” It will be obvious our Lord has planted and done the work.
God is glorified through pain!
You know that life that’s a pile of rubble, a mound of destruction? Listen to what he does with that.
Isaiah 61: 4
“And they shall BUILD the old wastes, they shall RAISE UP the former desolations, and they shall REPAIR the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.”
Jesus WILL build back up.
I don’t know how or when, but I know he will.
That’s why I have hope. That’s why you can have hope.
The devil wants us to think this war torn landscape is all we have to cling to—all our future holds.
But Jesus never leaves us in a state of destruction. After he has stripped us down to the darkest moments of our lives, he builds back to give the good gifts he wanted to give all along.
I’m clinging to his words of promise. I trust that he is going to give life sweeter and more abundantly than before.
Until then, He has given me a new song to sing.
I’m with you in the broken city today. Tears still fill my eyes, my stomach still aches with sadness, but He won’t leave me here forever.
He won’t leave you here forever.
Don’t give up.