When God Arrives

Last January, as Haiti reeled from a crushing earthquake, one tragic account told of a mother who had three daughters between the ages of four and nine. She had been cooking for her girls when the earthquake hit. Severely injured, the mom could not move or care for her children. When help arrived, the young girls had gone two days without food or water. The mom was convinced that her daughters would not survive. A reporter accompanying the relief workers asked, "When do you think this will end?" "When God arrives," the mother answered. Eventually, we humans find ourselves facing trouble beyond our expertise to fix.

Inevitably, high hopes of what we can accomplish and what we can make of our world always come crashing down. Judah repeatedly came to this point. During one calamitous cycle, under Babylon's rule and on the brink of national ruin, the prophet Isaiah prayed for his people. His heart, he said, "[could] not keep still" (Isaiah 62:1). Just as the Haitian images moved us to both sorrow and action, the devastation around Isaiah compelled him to pray for God's mercy. His prayer continued, "I will not stop praying for [Judah], until her righteousness shines like the dawn" (v.1).

Isaiah's hope for a new dawn was more than a naïve whim. He believed in God's promise of redemption for His people (and ultimately for all of God's people). Isaiah proclaimed God's intentions that the people of Judah, currently wallowing in ruin, would discover that calamity was not their end. "The Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see, a splendid crown in the hand of God" (v.3).

Isaiah pointed to a day when God would appear and make the world right again. Our sorrows will not completely end until He arrives. , Winn Collier

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