Day Two: "You answer us"
I must confess, I've been fretting all day and night long about this blog. I've only just begun and Day One I've already felt the urge to right about such sensitive topics. I'm worried because I look at my ministry now and this isn't how I typically go about hard subjects like this! When I think of relationships I have with people who I know would find my last post offensive, I worry about what I'm doing...what am I doing?
My practice is to listen way more than I preach. I want to listen and I know people want to be heard, to have a voice.
So to just throw out a long sermon, essentially, into the internet abyss without a tangible sense on how it's going to land in people's hearts....it makes me uncomfortable!
But at the same time, I know that I can listen and listen and listen and then become so sympathetic that I shy away from truth-telling. I need to be a truth-teller! And the fact of the matter is, I could put my ministry on hold for all the people my ministry may frustrate or I could obey Jesus.
So, I continue on because I choose to obey Jesus. I hope that most of my blog posts will not be as harsh as Day One. But most of all I hope this project will transform my ministry: that I will learn to speak the same truth but with more and more love and compassion and grace. 2 Corinthians 13:2 says, "If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I have nothing."
I think the fact that this is called "the Bible Diary" is crucial. Diary...a daily record. This project is a daily thing and if one looks at only one entry, they aren't getting the idea. You have to look at this as a daily journey, because Day One is frankly not going to reflect the entirety of this project. There are 363 days ahead and I know God's Word daily is going to change me.
As for today's reading though!
Okay, am I the only one who didn't realize that the book of Isaiah actually has stories in it? I'm so surprised! I always thought Isaiah was full of hard-to-interpret prophecy and poetry and stuff like that. But today's reading was just straight-up a story!
When I say I haven't read the whole Bible all the way through yet in my life, it's mostly the Prophets I haven't read. BTW.
I was surprised by how human this story was, so easy to read. Man, Hezekiah! Sounds like a cool dude. I particularly liked when he said "I cried out like a swift or thrust, I moaned like a mourning dove, my eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid! But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years" (Is. 38:14-15).
"But what can I say?" I love it! He's crying out to God but also saying "Listen, I know who You are. And You get to do whatever You want."
And the best part about it is: God listens to him! What a cool God we have.
God says "hey, you are sick and it's going to kill you. Get ready."
Hezekiah says "Oh Lord, okay, this is really hard...I don't want to die...but what can I say? You are God."
God says, literally, "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears, I will add fifteen years to your life" (Is. 38:5).
What a gracious God to listen to our prayers!
"You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas" (Psalm 65:5).
"You answer us"
Lately I've been trying to pray more. I realized that I typically pray very passively if at all...and why the heck would I do that?
Why wouldn't I talk to God when He's available to me every single moment? Why wouldn't I tap into that?
Especially when I know He hears! He answers! "You answer us." He gives good gifts, He cares about us. He cares for us.
I'm learning that I need to pray more and more. The more I pray the more I want to again.
Jesus, what am I doing if I'm not living my life with You? What am I doing if I'm not turning to You for wisdom? What am I doing if I am not constantly humbly at Your feet "I'm broken" "I need You" "fill me up" "give me words" "be my voice" "be my everything"?
Jesus, be my everything.
And wow, You hear me say that.