One year ago today our dear friends baby, Isaiah, was taken from this earth at just 8 months old. This morning I was praying about what I could say to Isaiah's precious mommy. My words cannot heal or repair the horror that is replaying in her head today. I turned to the Word, praying that God may use his words to comfort her on this day. As Jesus does, he met me in His word. I felt his nudge to write here, as it ministered to my heart, and maybe it will to yours too.
24“ ‘ “The LORD bless you
and keep you;
25the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’
27“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
This seems like such a happy passage, doesn't it? When not looked at in context, it seems that God will shine down on us and we will only know rainbows and butterflies - pure happiness and peace. As you know, my sweet friend, more than most who walk this earth, this is not God's intended meaning. God's chosen people - those that he shined on - lived as slaves in Eygpt for more than 200 years. I can't begin to imagine what that life must have been like, the heartache and pain they must have endured. Then God used Moses to deliver them from their bondage. As they left Eygpt I bet they were dreaming of walking into paradise, but God then sent them to a dessert for 40 years. How angry they must have been, how betrayed they must have felt, how they must have questioned God in those moments - just as we have done. During their time of slavery many had turned from God and he used the time in the dessert to humble his people and draw them back to him. It is important to remember that this is Old Testament God, before Jesus came to deliver us. I do not believe that God purposely puts us in the dessert, but he uses the valleys we find ourselves in, in this imperfect world, to bring us closer to him. This scripture passage was given to God's people while they were in the dessert, while they were battered, tired, worn, and so desperately longing for hope. This scripture passage does not promise a perfect life in an imperfect world, but rather that God will hold you, shine on you, bless you, keep you in his arms, and give you peace - even when you find yourself in the dessert. My sweet friend, I pray you rest in those promises today as your heart hurts and aches. I love you so. Isaiah is shining down on you today as Jesus holds you both in his arms.