Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Forsaken? Forgotten? Forgiven.

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 46, 47, 48, 49

Isaiah 48:22 (NIV)

22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Isaiah 49:14-16a (NIV)

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed.

Good morning!

Every day we see it happening before our very eyes. We hear it on the radio and watch it on the evening news. Children are dying on our streets, in the communities where we live. They have become pawns in the fight for control, and learn by example that controlling their world may be the only way to survive. So why are they not surviving?

Isaiah warns his people about their worthless idols of stone. We cannot comprehend how a culture could take an innocent heart and sacrifice it upon the altar of personal pleasure. We are much more concerned about the weather outside, maintaining our own personal thermostat, living in a climate controlled environment; to the neglect of those who surround us. How easy it is to point the finger at our ancestors, when we do no better with our own life choices. We become so self-absorbed and egotistical, that our children, who may have every material possession they could ever hope for, find themselves lacking in the thing they truly need – our time, attention and unconditional love.

There is not a human being on earth who, at some point, experiences disappointment, abandonment and fear. We’ve been hurt by others, so we choose to hurt back. The things that we once thought would make us happy leave us longing for something more. Many have experienced the pain of physical hunger, abuse, and rejection. We do not want to live in a place of desolation. No matter how hard we try, it is never good enough. We are told that financial freedom and material wealth will give us peace of mind and eternal happiness. So we chase those get-rich-quick schemes and expend our energy climbing up a big tree with wobbly branches. We find ourselves hanging on to a cracked limb, and we have no clue how to get back down to solid ground short of falling to our death. All the while, our children are watching us. They imitate what they see. Can the idols of stone bring true peace to a broken heart?

When parents lose their way and the children find themselves forsaken by the ones they depended upon for nurture and support, there is someone to turn to, who understands and has the power to heal that hurt, once and for all. He is the only one we can count on, who will never ever let us go. He has written your name in the palm of His hand. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him will not perish in the disillusion of the stone idols we’ve created. He offers eternal and abundant life to you and to me today. Isaiah’s message from long ago is the message we carry into the world today. Let go of the superficial. The things this world has to offer will never make you happy or set you free. Jesus understands your pain. He chose to carry your sin to the cross. He died to save you from the stone idols you’ve been worshipping. Jesus will not forsake you. He has not forgotten your name. And when you run to Him, He will forgive you, heal your pain, and free you to live in the light of His love and grace, now and forevermore.

Isn’t this the legacy we should give our children, our grandchildren, and their children to come?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: Jesus Christ to fill your heart with true peace. You may have been misled somewhere along the way. Someone may have hurt you and that pain is eating you alive. Or maybe you have hurt someone and stand in need of forgiveness and grace. My friend, there is room at the cross for you today. Jesus Christ has your name imprinted on His nail-scarred hands. He knows you. He loves you and wants you to come home to Him. Let go of the stone idols that you’ve been clinging to and reach out to the rock of salvation today.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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