Contributed by Lily Appelsein... (while Belinda is away in England, celebrating her Mum's 80th birthday)
The following verses are from Isaiah 59. As I sat in a restaurant waiting for my lunch order to be ready the other day, I opened my Bible on the table in front of me, and these familiar verses struck deep at my heart again.
The Kingdom of God is such an upside down, backwards kingdom… It is so different from anything man could ever come up with and so counter to any other religion out there that I can’t help but be struck with awe, time and time again. Once your eyes are spiritually opened to be able to see this Kingdom, there’s no way you could ever want to pursue any other belief system.
I read from Isaiah 59:
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 “Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rearguard.”
When we have problems, deep grief, unhealed wounds, God’s remedy is not for us to wallow in them… When we really need God to hear us, when we find ourselves deep in darkness, that’s just when He wants us to do the opposite to what it feels like we need – to get our eyes off ourselves and begin to look to the needs of others… “then your light will break forth like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth.”
10 “And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday”
"Father God, I so quickly and easily get all caught up with myself and my problems -- my little hurts and frustrations get so out of perspective with your grand scheme of things and to me seem so overwhelmingly big. My whole being seems bent toward sinking into a narcissitic vortex that leads me further and further into myself and further and further away from you. Only you can break that cycle... Oh, God, pull me out!
Show me this day the hungry, the poor, and the afflicted who are all around me. Give me some of your bread for the hungry, some of your living water for the thirsty. Help me to keep my eyes off of me today and remain fully aware of being your hands and feet extended! Help me to understand that I truly can trust you with my own need for healing, while I get busy looking to the needs of others."
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995, by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.