Has someone ever tried to ‘save’ you from something you weren’t sure you needed saving from? My husband, who’s a wonderful saver in some regards, sometimes tries to save me from things that don’t seem super problematic in my world—things related to scheduling and organization that aren’t always high on my priority list. (Probably why they’re higher on his, right?!)
He’s been working out of town for the past several months so sometimes when he comes home he’s in full-blown Here-I-come-to-save-the-day mode. I’m mostly grateful. But there are times I secretly think, settle down, buddy, I was handling this just fine on my own. We’re not always dialed into my needs in the same way.
Sometimes I’m ambivalent to his attempts to save me. But there have been times that he’s walked through the door at just the right time and I am desperate for his help. Like the time he walked in after the A/C stopped working during the only two really hot days we had this summer. Or the time I was driving on a tire which grew a wee bit flatter with each passing day but I didn’t know what to do about it—then he came home earlier than expected and fixed it for me. Those were times I was deeply aware of my needs and just as aware of my inability to meet them. So, when a solution—and not just any solution, but a solution wrapped up in a person who loves me and finds joy in helping me (most of the time) appeared on the scene, my heart responded in delight to him as much as it was soothed by the end of my trouble.
The thing about saviors is, we’ve got to be aware of our need for them to get excited about being saved by them. And it’s only when we’ve experienced both, that our hearts respond.
We’re going to spend the next month reading through a part of the book of Isaiah in which God speaks comfort to His people. But because our passage starts in Isaiah 40, we need to know what was said in the thirty-nine chapters that came before. Much of it contains God’s words of warning about the deep trouble His people were in. God wasn’t ranting through the prophet Isaiah because He’s mean or cranky but because His people needed to hear the truth. They’d disobeyed His word consistently and persistently and would have to face the consequences of their choices. And the consequences were going to be painful.
God doesn’t allow His people to feel the pain of their consequences because He enjoys seeing them suffer, but because it forces them to see their need of a Saviour and because it prepares their hearts to respond to Him when He comes.
So as you read through a portion of Isaiah this month, remember that the words of comfort you’re reading come after strong warnings and prophecies of suffering. But also remember that the words you’re reading were read by those who’d survived the suffering as well. They were the words broken and battered people clung to as they waited in their need for a Saviour.
As you read, may God open your eyes to see your need for a Saviour, and move your heart to respond.