A bruised reed he will not break
I love how Isaiah 42 shows God's heart for the broken. Even in the midst of delivering hard news for his people, pumping through this chapter is a beautiful reaffirmation of the deep, deep love of God.
Christ (who wouldn't come until about 700 years later), is described so gently:
"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not stuff out."
And look at what's happening, even as old resources and surroundings become unfamiliar and hostile:
"I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will follow. I will not forsake them."
So even as everything that has provided security is suddenly removed, God still shows up personally to lead those who are in need. A journey that is unfamiliar to the blind is known and planned for by the All-Seeing. Darkness so thick that it is internal, physical, and impermeable, is transformed into brilliance. Impossible terrain is made bearable, because the grace of Jesus is sufficient for every weakness.
I have lived through a season like this one, a time when everything familiar was stripped away from me, and I didn't see how life could go on. But in this wilderness, even in the way trauma broke me down into elements of myself that I hated, I found Him chasing me.
And his message for me was not shame. It was not a battering for my inability to live a perfect life. Though I am cerebral, self-sufficient, stubborn, driven, I had to learn to forgive myself, depend on him, and move forward.
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
He makes a way. And he makes a way personally. This is the character of the God we serve, our pursuer, our sustainer, our author, our developer. We cannot break His love. He says:
"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."
He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. Though the dust clouds roll in, and it seems you will not survive, he loves you. And whatever you are living right now, he will lead you through.
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"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."