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On Control

We fought so hard – so desperately 

To gain the reins of the waves.

Grasping at every crest,

Our anxieties to stave.

Yet for all our fevered exertion

Our energies were wasted.

The waves cared not. Control…

Was never to be tasted.

It was painful to acknowledge

The scope of our miscalculation,

But then – surrender. Rest.

And with them, jubilation.

For the waves we feared

Would pull us under

Buoyed us up

And filled us with wonder.

All that we poured

Into inward concerns

Turned outward now,

Our selfishness spurned.

Still we sorrow, and still we grieve;

But no more for imagined power.

Unfettered now and free to claim

That which, by grace, is ours.

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Prophets Project – Isaiah 49-60

So often when I read my Bible the verses that speak to me are those that I find beautiful… and I’m terribly picky. I eat up melancholy poetry and evocative words of comfort. Poetry is not lacking in Isaiah, it just hasn’t been (generally) the kind that really affects me. These chapters were different, though. Each was a feast, and not for the usual reasons. It wasn’t so much the lyrical promises, but this sort of general-to-the-troops call for strength that stood out. You know, when the strong leader rides out on his white horse and shouts confident words of encouragement to his down-trodden, terrified soldiers preparing for war. And I needed that. I’ve been feeling a little weary lately, so it was good to be reminded that our spirits, while often burdened, are also robust, vibrant and strong. We have battles to fight, but ours is the side of light and ultimate victory. I’m not a very physically expressive person, but I almost felt like pumping my fist. 🙂 Just a few favorites from my reading:

Isaiah 50:7: “For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set my face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.” (Man, I love the word “flint.”) 

Isaiah 51:1: “…Look to the rock from which you were hewn and the quarry from which you were dug.”

51:9: “Awake, Awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord…”

51:17: “Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the Lord’s hand the cup of His anger; the chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.”

And a couple of the beautiful, lyrical ones, too:

Isaiah 55:12: “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

58:10: “And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.”

I hope you can find encouragement and renewal today as well. These chapters are full of thought-provoking themes, too, so don’t pass them over! Happy reading.

PS- Don’t forget to check out Crystal’s thoughts on these same chapters at www.treasurecontained.com if you’re following our project. 🙂