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Today I was out going to visit with a friend.  It was a short drive, through a coulee that had overflown due to the past five days of torrential rain.  Every where you looked the fields were flooded, the river was swollen over its banks and in spite of the reminders of the bad weather we are enjoying I felt…. unburdened.  I have no idea why.

And then this verse from Isaiah 4: 9 kept going through my mind….

For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

I am trying to learn to trust these messages from the Holy Spirit, and the message worked so well with the way that I have been feeling, that I simply said, “okay God.  I don’t know what you mean by this, but I know that I can trust you.”

 

 

So I am resolved to simply stay out of the way, and to let God do the work.  After all I am pretty certain that he is much better with the sledge-hammer and a jack-hammer than I am.

 

When I got home I looked up the whole passage, it is part of the beloved Scriptures that we read during Advent, when God proclaims freedom to his oppressed people and tells them that he has made plans for their salvation.  May the hope of this proclamation lift your hearts as it has mine.

Isaiah 9: 2-7  The Message
The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
    light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
    you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
    Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
    all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
    a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
    over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
    and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
    beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will do all this.

I particularly liked the way this promise was phrased:  His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.  

No limits….

That’s better than any limitless thing that the world ever promises….

 

 

no limits to the wholeness
no limits to the healing
no limits to the grace
no limits to the love
no limits to the power of restoration

 

NO LIMITS TO WHAT GOD CAN AND WILL DO.

No Limits….. I feel a prayer coming on….

Nothing should keep me from trusting you, Lord, but they have
Oh the depths of my doubt, the power of my fear, the burden of my hopelessness

Love, your love, lifts me to renewed faith
Indications of your limitless mercy surround me
Majestic is your name
Inspiration comes with the full measure of your Spirit
Trials are revealed in the new light of your grace
Spirit of God, Spirit of Holiness, Servant of God, Son of Redemption, Source of all goodness….I thank you that you are the creator of my days and the bringer of all hope.  Amen.

 

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