Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Dog Days Duets series. I pray that these weekly selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.
Isaiah 43:16-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
16 Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
17 who brings out chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18 Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild animals will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
What is God up to? There are times when my immediate response is “I have no idea.” In the midst of difficulties or witnessing hurt and suffering, my honest response is “I don’t know.” And, when it gets right down to it, that has to be our answer in any circumstance because we don’t know.
But, there is another answer. It is the answer to the question that has echoed down through the ages. It is the answer we find in parts of scripture as the people of God are wrestling to figure out where God is in the circumstances of their lives. It is the answer we find reflected in our scripture reading for today. It is the answer we find in the central events of the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament. It is even found in the very way we Christians conceive of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit: God is Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
Isaiah reminds the people that God is the creator, the source of all that is. But God isn’t finished. God is still creating.
Isaiah reminds the people that God has done magnificent things in the past. Not only has God created, but God redeemed them from slavery. God delivered them from slavery in Egypt.
Isaiah reminds the people that God sustains them. For the desert tribes of Israel, the life-giving presence of God was intimately tied up in the image of the life-sustaining presence of water. Deliverance and water are found side by side throughout Scripture. Water cleanses, restores and refreshes. The text for today focuses on this water theme and on the unfathomable greatness of the impending deliverance God has in store for the people Israel.
The good news is summed up in verse 19: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster