Here I am!

The cry of the lost.

Where are you?

Where are you? I can’t see you.  Where are you?  I can’t find you.  Where are you?  You should have been here hours ago.  Where are you?  I need you.  Where are you? I’m panicking now.

Where are you?  I cry in anger, in frustration, in fear, in pain.

Where are you?  A plea for assurance, reassurance, comfort and peace.

Isaiah 58:9-14

When you beg the Lord for help,
    he will answer, “Here I am!”

Don’t mistreat others
or falsely accuse them
    or say something cruel.
10 Give your food to the hungry
    and care for the homeless.
Then your light will shine
    in the dark;
your darkest hour will be
    like the noonday sun.

11 The Lord will always guide you
and provide good things to eat
    when you are in the desert.
He will make you healthy.
You will be like a garden
    that has plenty of water
or like a stream
    that never runs dry.
12 You will rebuild those houses
    left in ruins for years;
you will be known
as a builder and repairer
    of city walls and streets.

13 But first, you must start
respecting the Sabbath
    as a joyful day of worship.
You must stop doing and saying
whatever you please
    on this special day.
14 Then you will truly enjoy
    knowing the Lord.
He will let you rule
    from the highest mountains
and bless you with the land
of your ancestor Jacob.
    The Lord has spoken!

This passage comes from two sides.  It is both an assurance that God is here – but also a reminder of how we must behave.

When we’re afraid, in pain or anguish, we can lash out – especially at those who least deserve it.  But, we are not to be cruel, to mistreat other, to please only ourselves – that will not help anybody.  It will not help others, and it certainly won’t help us.  It won’t make us feel any better, any more secure, or make our life any brighter – it will only add to our problems.

But what are we promised?

God promises a rebuilding.  For places left in ruins – for however long; for the lost; the hungry; those wandering the desert.

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God is the builder and repairer.  What a powerful metaphor.

How many of us long for rebuilding?  In lives; in relationships; in things we have got wrong; things we have knocked down or others have knocked down for us?  Places where we need someone to come along and restore and remake.

That is what God promises.  He is the builder, the repairer, the water.  Maybe not today, maybe not as we imagine – but it is his promise that he will do it.  To build strong and firm lives of blessing to him, to ourselves and to others.

Lord,
you know I long for rebuilding,
for restoring,
for making fit for purpose again.

There are parts of my life that have been smashed apart,
feel as though they are in ruins,
maybe not for many years –
but it feels like it,
or maybe actually it is many years,and I am becoming desperate.

Thank you Lord,
that you are here in my life,
when I recognise it
and when I don’t.
that when I beg to you,
you are here to help.

Lord,
I pray for rebuilding,
not in may imagining,
but in yours.

Lord,
today,
I invite you into my ruins
to do the work you need to do,
that I may be a garden nor a desert,
a person who treats others well,
a house for you.

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3 thoughts on “Here I am!

  1. what struck me in the Isaiah passage was:
    But first, you must start
    respecting the Sabbath
    as a joyful day of worship.
    You must stop doing and saying
    whatever you please
    on this special day.
    14 Then you will truly enjoy
    knowing the Lord.
    He will let you rule
    from the highest mountains
    and bless you with the land
    of your ancestor Jacob.
    The Lord has spoken!

    not a demand for legalistic Sabbath-day observance, but a reminder of the necessity for taking time out, making space in our lives, for worship and for listening to God. If we do that then we will be blessed beyond measure – not as a reward but as a consequence of being and living always in tune with God.

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