"On that day, they will sing this song in the land of Judah; "A strong city have we, He sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. Open up the gates, to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace, in peace for its trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is an eternal rock"
This one sentence in the first reading today, from the prophet Isaiah is packed! "On that day they will sing.....A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace, in peace for its trust in you". The Lord is speaking to us, through the prophet, we are this "nation." And what is the promise to us this day? "A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace, in peace for its trust in you." What a beautiful promise! If we Trust Him and allow Him to be our Rock, our Stronghold, our Father, He will keep us in peace. What is needed is that "firm purpose" firmly set on His will, that "firm purpose" to adhere to Him, to His will, cost what may. That "firm purpose" to hold onto Him with all one's might as He calls us, out into the deep waters. The prophet Isaiah says, "on that day they will sing in the land of Judah, 'A strong city have we, He sets up walls and ramparts to protect us'". Those who trust in the Lord will "sing," because their hearts are free, they rest in His loving hands. To reach this place of trust in the Lord, we must first open our hearts to Him and allow Him to "BE" who He IS and who He wants to be for us: Our Rock, our Stronghold, our Father!
I would love to leave you with an image. It came to me the other day. It was a great memory of my Dad. He was a beautiful man of God. A former police officer, shot in the line of duty, and an old navy man at heart. I remember how he taught my brothers and I to swim. He would take us out in the lake. I remember Him swimming out a little and then calling me to come over to him in the shallow waters. He would tell me to wrap my arms around his neck and lock my fingers into a strong clasp behind his neck. I can remember his prickly short stubble on his face, bushy eyebrows, warm loving eyes and his tobacco breath. Then he would do the backstroke gently pulling me out with him into the deeper waters. I didn't feel fear, even though I couldn't swim, because His eyes were on me, reassuring me that all was just fine, he even had me laughing. Then he would ask me at one point if I could touch the bottom, and when I would try and couldn't touch the bottom, he would smile at me and say; "you're fine" ( I know it was his way of letting me know I was over my head and all was still well because he was there). I had no fear, because he "had me," he was keeping me afloat, he was doing all the work. He told me to start kicking hard and then he would say; "you've got it, you're doing it" and he had me trusting that I could do it with him, yet he was doing it all my little kicks were doing very little but he was the strength keeping me afloat! He was teaching me how to swim (with him) and to not be afraid when the water was over my head. He was teaching me to hold on tighty and listen to his directions and do whatever He said. Then I learned how to swim in the deep water and to trust and obey the one who loved me. He would never allow any harm to come to me. He wanted to teach me how to handle the deep water so that I wouldn't drown. But to do so, he had to pull me out into those same deep waters... so that I could learn what he could do for me and what I was capable of with him and...Not to be afraid in the future, of the "deep waters" if I did what he taught me. A lesson in Trust!
1.) Do I ask my Father in heaven for help? Do I allow Him to help? Do I prefer to just do it myself?
2.) Why am I afraid of getting close to my heavenly Father? Of throwing my arms around His neck of drawing close to Him, my heart closer to His heart?
3.) What is robbing me of peace right now and preventing me from trusting in my Father in heaven? Over what areas in my life? In what circumstance must I firmly place my trust in Him right now, today? The Fastest way (the autobahn) to peace lies in 5 words: "Doing-the-will-of-God."
"Love Jesus Trustfully, without looking back, without fear, give yourself fully to Jesus" (Mother Teresa)