Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Old Old Story"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 42:3-6a – A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: "I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you." (ESV)
We have some daffodil flowers growing from bulbs that I planted last year. They are in small clumps of five bulbs each. They have been growing away quietly during the winter in the north-facing flowerbed at the bottom of our garden. I was rather saddened to see that they had been beaten down by the stormy weather that we had earlier in the year. They were lying flat, over the edge of the flowerbed, looking bedraggled and sorry for themselves.
As a result of all the business of recent events here chez nous, I have not been paying them much attention. Yet when I looked out of the kitchen window whilst doing my chores at the sink, to my amazement, I saw that they have all recovered in the sunshine and are standing tall again, as if nothing had happened.
Having lost my father recently, I have been feeling a bit battered myself, and seeing the flowers there standing tall, it was as if God were saying to me in my heart: It's okay, kid, you will get through this time of weathering. You will be able to shine in My presence again and be able to stand tall once more.
So, too, I have an amaryllis that has been sitting above the sink. I had to cut off the leaves at Christmas, because they had wilted with a red fungus. Well, knock me down with a feather, the bulb has just up and sprouted a tubular leaf with a massive four-flowered head on it. It was as if the plant were also saying, Listen, it isn't over just yet, kid. There is still life left to live.
These events have reminded me of today's verses. They tell us that God is gracious to the broken-hearted and downtrodden and will in due time raise us up, both in this life, to keep us close, and also to bring us safe home at the end of the day.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your comfort and the assurance that You are with us always. We pray for all those whom we know, as well as ourselves, that You would touch lives to bring encouragement. By the presence of Your Holy Spirit, imbue us all with faith and hope where there has been doubt, hardship, and sorrow. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.