I love it when a good plan comes together, but I don’t like waiting. It is rare in my work for a home renovation to go smoothly for the entire project. It can. But it is dependent on a lot of time, attention to detail, and promises made becoming true. My job is full of toil and struggle. For a room of bare studs to become a beautiful, living space, takes a lot of work.
Isaiah 55 is a promise that creates a beautiful eternal living space because it delivers. The Word is good because it is true. In the midst of heat, toil, futility, unmet expectations, sin, struggle, and even mystery, the Word provides.
God’s Word calls out irresistibly (verse 1). God’s Word confronts sin, humbly, sacrificially (verse 2). God’s Word pursues redemptively and overcomes every last obstacle (verses 3–11). And through its sacrificial life of coming to earth, it nurtures a dry place to complete restoration growing a lost world toward vibrant worship (verses 12, 13). The picture of the new day in Isaiah 55 (the “not yet”) is mind blowing.
12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Life doesn’t look like these two verses right now. Sin rages. The Enemy uproots. Unmet expectations of the world are endless. The weight of staring down the exact same thing you faced yesterday that was super difficult is heavy. The insatiable selfishness in our hearts clouds every thought, every interaction, every relationship.
Yet, because of the relentless Word of God, the thorn and the barren wasteland will be replaced by delicious fruit. In the end, worship is coming out of places that never worshipped. Even though this new day is a distant promise, we have access to the gift of slow transformation along the way because of the Word. Not all at once. And not quickly! Perhaps God is keeping us dependent on Him along the way.
Anxiety turns into peace.
Anger turns into gentleness.
A divisive attitude becomes unifying.
Critical people become grateful people.
Inconsistent people become marked by self-control.
Comparison becomes marked by contentment.
Proud people become humble.
Spiritual blindness is given eyes to see.
Takers become givers.
Impatient people become those who suffer well.
Mean people become gentle.
How is this possible? The unstoppable, sovereign, ceaseless, patient labor of the Word of God. It will not return empty. It is not in a rush. It will accomplish His redemptive purposes and grow life where it doesn’t exist. Take heart as we enter a new calendar year. We have access to the “not yet” along the way.