"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here I am. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night well become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."
When I first wrote this devotional it had been a month of many changes for me. Our fourth child graduated high school, our first-born got married and our daughter got engaged. Our son who was at the Air Force Academy came home and visited for three weeks and left to go back the morning I wrote this. On top of all of that the very next Saturday our daughter left for a five-week mission trip. Seeing as she has never been gone from home for more than a week I was feeling a lot of “mommy feelings." Her mother-in-law prepared a portfolio full of letters of encouragement for her to take and read on the mission trip. The verses and thoughts today are what I put in her binder years ago. The verses are dear to my heart because they express the lifestyle and character I hope for myself and for each of my children.
“Kara, what an awesome privilege it is for us, as broken and sinful as we are, to be used by a Holy God. When we walk in obedience to His word and answer the calls He places on our lives, we will be bright lights in a very dark world. Like the early morning sunlight breaks through the darkness when the sun rises, so our righteousness will go before us and break through the spiritual darkness. God will take up the rear and be our protection. When we call on Him. His ears are tuned into us and He promises He will answer. As we turn the useless things that bind us over to Him and give from the depths of our souls to hungry and afflicted souls our lights will shine through the fuzziness of life and make God's plans very clear and sharp to us. When we are walking with Him, the darkest days that we will ever face will still be as bright as the noonday. When our hearts are turned toward God, we can trust Him to guide us. In the times of spiritual drought, in the times when nothing seems to make sense, during the times that we are weary, and during the times that we've nothing to give, He will be there guiding, teaching, training, loving us, and working through us. He will bless us with His goodness and with His righteousness. We will become like an oasis in a desert, where we will be a well watered garden, bearing much fruit that is beautiful to behold and fragrant to smell. We will also be like a fresh water spring that continuously gives water and that never runs dry! As believers our “water” is always fresh and sweet, never bitter and stale. In other words, God's energy and strength are continual and forever!
What is even more amazing is we are a part of God's plan in other people's lives! Without God, people's lives are deserts. They look at the things in the world to fill their thirst of love, acceptance, and healing and it is like trying to drink from a mirage! There is nothing in the world that will satisfy them. We are blessed to be able to be used to help people be restored to a right relationship with God and help them repair a wasted or destructive life. By simply obeying and loving people, we can have an impact on the lives of people not only in the here and now, but for generations to come! It’s like knocking dominoes over! It is awesome to hear testimonies of people and so often the way they describe their conversion is in terms like "being brought back to the right path," "reconciling to God," or of a "broken heart being healed."
How many blessings we miss and how often our faith grows weak because our eyes are on our circumstances rather than our Lord. How many blessing we miss because our lives are muddied with our own sins. He never promised life would be easy. No where in scripture can that be found, but He has promised to be there for us all the time. He will hear our cries and whisper, "Here I am!" Will you trust Him? Are you willing to give other people a chance to know your God through your testimony? Are you willing to purify your heart and your mind with God's word and let your righteousness shine ever so bright in this dark world? Remember, dear child, that God's glory will shine the brightest on a life that is totally submitted to His will."
I survived her mission trip though I missed her every day she was gone. God did some beautiful work in her life. She is now a wife and a mom to two precious little boys and a teacher and I am so very proud to be her mom.
Prayer: Father, sometimes it scares me that you choose us to demonstrate your love, speak your truth, and use me to reach out to those who are separated from you by their sin! I let you down so often and I am sometimes so inadequate in finding words that will bring healing to the souls who are hurting. Please use us to love the hungry and afflicted. Let us be water and food to women who need You…let us be known as repairmen and mediators who help people be restored to You. Let us shines so bright that it is obvious that we belong to you even before we open our mouths. Thank you for using each of us, as imperfect. Amen.