March 6, 2016
READ: Isaiah 51:1-16
I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. . . . I am the one who says to Israel, “You are my people!” (v.16).
Born at 34 weeks, he was 3 pounds of miracle. Tubes and wires extended from his diminutive body to monitor his steady progress. His vision was restricted by a soft gauze eye mask to protect his eyes from the bilirubin light. He often became frustrated with all the equipment restricting his movement. But when his dad reached through the small opening in the incubator to gently cup his son’s tiny head in his large hand, the mighty warrior in baby form grew still and drifted off to sleep.
Scripture tells us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” and “his intentions can never be shaken” (Proverbs 16:9; Psalm 33:11). But in a world where options seem to extend infinitely, we become convinced of our own infallibility. Constructing and deconstructing, we smooth out the roads of our lives as best as possible, and every turn in the journey leads back to our own abilities. Plans and backup plans, our ultimate goal becomes the elimination of unpredictability. We forget God’s sovereignty—until a crisis arises.
An untimely birth, an unexpected death, any number of changes we didn’t anticipate remind us of our frailty (Isaiah 51:6). We are not in control.
Like a premature infant—possessing what’s needed to thrive but not yet grown—we bear the image of what we will one day become. But while we wait in hope—often unseeing and confused—God reaches out to us in our deepest moments of need and cups us in His hand (Isaiah 51:12,16). Here, as we wait, we learn to rest in hope because “the Lord will work out his plans for [our lives]—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8; see also Isaiah 51:7-8,11).
365-day-plan: Joshua 24:1-31
Read Romans 8:10-28 and consider how we can experience a God-given, practical hope for what we can’t yet see.
When did an event in your life seem premature? In what ways did God demonstrate His sustaining hope to you?