While plundering notes and journal entries for another book project, I came across a verse from Isaiah that had special significance years ago. When I searched my blog to see if I’d written on it before, I came across around fifty other posts from Isaiah but none from this passage. I decided to rectify that situation.
Here it is as I’d copied it down from the Classic edition of the Amplified Bible:
“And therefore, the Lord (earnestly) waits (expecting, looking, and longing) to be gracious to you and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortitude, to be envied) are those who (earnestly) wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him (for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship).” Isaiah 30:18
I love the amplified version because it gives us greater insight into the translation of several words.
And here for a more edited version in the NIV:
“Yet 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 all who wait for him!”
I had written this verse in my journal when we were dealing with a difficult thing in our family that could have had long lasting challenging consequences. It was months before we knew the outcome and during that time, we were leaning hard on the Lord. We knew that things don’t always turn out the way we want them too, but no matter what, we were confident God would be with us.
Still, we hoped for the outcome we wanted.
Sometimes, we can see God as tightfisted with his blessings—holding back. Doling them out incrementally as if somehow, He only has so much to give.
And yet, this verse tells us the complete opposite is true. God wants to bless. He longs to be gracious. He rises to show mercy and justice. These words also encourage us to wait as well as expect, look, and long for Him. And I’m so struck by the fact that Isaiah says we are blessed in our waiting as we look to Him. We are blessed in the process—in the between before the answer comes.
In our humanity, the between time is often filled with anxiety. In case you wondered, I’m talking to myself now. However, repeatedly, God has shown me that the waiting time is filled with wonder.
In the end, our situation resolved in the way we’d most desired. We were so grateful and still are. God did rise to show us mercy. But that would have been the case no matter what happened.
So, if you’re out there today wondering, faced with a foreboding challenge, try meditating on Isaiah 30:18. Let it go down deep in your heart, so that no matter the outcome, the character of God will be imprinted in your soul.
Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District, from Crosslink Publishing is also available as well as her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art.
To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com
Beverly Varnado copyright 2022