Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Isaiah 30:18

The Lord longs to be gracious to you; 
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice. 
Blessed are those who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

I love this verse. I love that the words "gracious" and "compassion" are used. I love that it describes God's desire for us as a longing. I love that it says he will "rise up." I love that there is an exclamation point at the end of the last sentence. I love how powerful those words and that exclamation point are. Here is what I mean:

In 18 days (ah!) Andrew will become my husband. It is hard to explain, but there is a longing in my heart to be his wife. I have this incredible desire to walk down the aisle towards him, to celebrate this incredible gift, and to begin my life with him. Some days, this longing in me is so strong that I get overwhelmed with joy, nervousness, excitement, and it consumes me. It consumes my thoughts, my To Do lists, my pins on Pinterest, my conversations, everything. In these moments, I have to set everything else aside and remind myself that in only 18 short days I will be his wife. I have to rest in that. 18 days. Two weeks. Three weekends. This is a longing that I've never felt for any other person. It is a longing I know can only come from a relationship that God has placed in my life.

Because of the longing in my hear to become Andrew's wife, when I read Isaiah 30:18, and I read that God longs to be gracious to ME, I have a minuscule picture of the longing in this verse. I picture the way I long to marry Andrew. I picture the way that we only know love because God first loved us. I picture the King of the universe, the Maker of all creation longing for me; longing to show me grace and compassion. He doesn't just want to. He is longing to. What an incredible feeling of assurance and love it is to know that God is longing for me.

Since I am getting married in 18 days, my thoughts have been rather nostalgic lately. I think of all the things my Mom and Dad have done for me to get me where I am. I think of all the times they had my best interest at heart, even when I did not. I think of all the times I was so ungrateful, so unwilling to help them out or do anything for them, yet they helped me and did anything for me that they could; knowing I would not return their kindness. My parents have always gone above and beyond what would be returned by me. In a way, they have risen up countless times over the past 23 years to see me through.

To think about my parents rising up to get me through, knowing what's best for me, is one thing, but t think about God rising up for me, rising up to show me compassion is incredible to say the least. The verse doesn't say that God will meet us in the middle and show compassion. It doesn't say if we come to Him asking he will rise up. It says He will rise up to show us compassion. God does not only long to show us grace, He rises up to show us compassion. In the midst of our own selfishness, when we are not aware of a need for compassion, He rises up to us, unconditionally. Wow.

The final sentence in this verse is ended with an exclamation point. As a writer, I know these marks, overused in text messages, are almost outlawed by writers. Exclamations express such strong emotion and excitement, that there is normally not a need for them in writing. Whenever they are used, the reader knows that sentence is something that should not be taken lightly. There are no words strong enough to express the emotion of that point, so an exclamation is used. How cool is that? There were no words powerful enough to translate the magnitude of this final sentence, so an exclamation is used. Incredible.

I hope this verse moves you. I hope you long for something in your life, so that you can at least sort of, kind of begin to barely understand God's longing for us. I hope you've had to rise up to carry something through that others did not do their part in, so you can sort of see how God rises up for us. I hope that you've felt excitement that is indescribable, so you can understand the strength of that last sentence. I hope this verse overwhelms you. I hope it stirs in you a longing for Christ.

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