“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”Isaiah 46:3-4, NIV
Many years ago I carried my first-born child about. I held him in my lap. From the time he was born until he could walk on his own, I carried him on my back, just as my Nigerian neighbors carried their own babies. And even after he learned to walk, I would still carry him when those little legs would get too tired. Now that he towers over me, I still carry him and our second son in my heart and in my prayers.
I still remember one day in his first year, when I held him in a standing position on my lap. I was enjoying his growing awareness of the world around him. His eyes sparkled as he turned his head and looked about. Everything was new to him, and it was all amazing.
Eventually, though, I got a little impatient. He was looking all about, but he never focused his gaze on me. Maybe I was too close to him. Maybe Mom was old stuff by now. Still, I wanted some of that attention, and I said out loud, “Hey! Look at me! Remember me? I just the one who holds you up!”
And then conviction silenced me. “Just the one who holds you up?!” Is that how I’d been treating God? Looking all about at everything else but him? Forgetting that he was the one who was holding me, carrying me, every step of the way?
I had some repentance to do that day. But I am so thankful for that clear memory that remains a lesson for me even today.
In our busy, busy lives lived in a world filled with constant stimuli, it’s easy for our eyes, minds, and hearts to get pulled away from God. But God delights in his people. He delights in you Psalm 147:11). He is always there. Waiting for us. Waiting for you. To look at him. To acknowledge him. To interact with him.
God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, reminds us of the part he has to play in each of our lives. A part so important, it’s mentioned six times in two verses. He upholds us, he carries us, he sustains us, and he rescues us. He started the moment we were born. And even before if you note what David had to say in Psalm 139:13. And he promises to continue to carry us, sustain us, and rescue us.
In this season of thanksgiving, amidst the cooking and the cleaning and the football and the Christmas shopping and the time spent with family and friends, let’s make sure we take time to focus on the one who upholds us today and every day. Better yet, let’s covenant to do so every day of our lives.
In his name and for his glory.
Soul Refreshers for your week:
- Take time right now to focus on him. Remember God’s words: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV).
- Covenant to take some time daily to focus on him. If you end up missing a day or two, don’t give up. That’s what Satan wants. he wants you to feel defeated and to just give up saying you’ll never be able to do it. God, though, says, “I forgive. And I’m still here, waiting for you.”
- Consider reading the very short book (about 54 pages), The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence.
- Remember what these feast days are all about: celebrating God and his part in our lives. May I share with you a poem I wrote many years ago as I studied the book of Leviticus. It’s about how God says to celebrate those feast days.