Be strong, do not fear; your God will come . . and a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness . . . only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (35:4,8-10)
An amazing promise, and an amazing picture. “Your God will come.” When He does, there will be a reversal of the human state – the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the lame will walk, there will be singing, joy, and gladness, and sorrow and suffering will come to an end. What a day that will be! Our God will indeed come again, and he will reign on an earth restored to what God originally meant it to be.
Passages like this help me to look beyond the many troubles of each day and see the bigger picture. So often I get caught up in all the little details of each day that consume me – an “urgent” e-mail from work, a son or daughter who needs to be disciplined, a broken toilet, insurance paperwork that needs my attention. Somewhere in the details I lose sight of the big picture. This world truly isn’t my home, my God will come, and there is more to this life than finishing each day’s to-do list.
When I get this perspective – if only for a moment, it changes so many things. If I were to know that Christ was going to return today, would I really be losing patience with my kids? Would I change the way I talk to my co-workers? Would I change my priorities as I go through the day? I need to dwell on God’s promises so that perspective pervades my life.
“O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress” (33:2). Help me to live in the consciousness of your imminent return. Help me to freely give your love to others, to show the change you’ve made in my life in my words and actions. Allow me to be worthy of one who is called by your name, for your glory and my good.