Sunday, September 23, 2012

Isaiah 43

For several weeks after learning about Penny, sitting through the worship at church was hard. I would hide in a bathroom stall and bawl because I couldn't face it. Not that I couldn't face God. I needed God more than ever. But I couldn't face my own pain brought to the surface by the obvious presence of the Spirit.

One of my favorite hymns has always been Isaiah 43. God's reassurances are so clear, but so is the reality of human struggle. It's been a more than a month since this struggle began, and God is still with us. He has called us by name, we are His. 

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.
(Isaiah 43: 1-7)

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