Tidings of Comfort and Joy

“Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.

Have you never heard?

Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.

ISAIAH 40:1, 28-31 (New Living Translation)

My greatest comfort is in the incomparable strength, wisdom, understanding, might, sovereignty, capacity, grace, holiness, love, knowledge, creativity, authority…of God. Nothing else consoles my fears which rumble up from what I don’t know or my weariness that sucks the light from what I can’t see. Only God.

When I watch CNN and see the craziness in Egypt, I know that the greatest armies and the most skilled negotiators will not and can not bring lasting peace to that region or any other. Humanity does not possess the ability to establish long-lasting peace, no matter how hard we try. And let’s be honest, much of humanity is more interested in victory than peace. World peace and the peace that lets me sleep well through the night are not a product of negotiation or arm-wrestling.

When I hear updates about baby Micah who reached his one-month birthday this weekend and know the odds and see the tubes and read the lists of medications, I know that extraordinary doctors and ingenious machines and well-tested chemicals are not the source of life for this little one. Or for me.

When I look at the list of things resting on my proverbial plate needing attention this week and can see only the surface of all that is there demanding more creativity, more wisdom, more focus than I can begin to offer, I can feel the weariness before the work begins. My skills and gifts and strengths and diplomas will not be enough.

I’m so thankful that I am one of tens of thousands of people who are studying Isaiah 40 right now in Bible Study Fellowship. I might be tempted to simply hover in this chapter if I didn’t know a bit of what is yet to come. Knowing–in less that adequate terms, since there are no descriptors that can do more than begin to describe him–that God is God brings great comfort. I rest in His strength. I lean into His understanding and focus and creativity. I hope in Him alone.

And as I do, I take another step on the journey. And I find joy.