I came across a verse in Isaiah this week that I am pretty sure I have never seen before. I’m confident that it has always been there, but I don’t know that my eyes or heart have ever been open to it in the past. It says,
Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
There is a lot about this passage that I love and resonate with. For starters, the way that is begins takes my breath away– “The Lord waits to be gracious to you.” In saying that He “waits” it implies He wants to be gracious to us; to shower us with love and grace and forgiveness in order to show that He’s wants us. He’s after our heart. That’s a big statement.
But I literally say the latter part of this verse in action today and it nearly brought me to tears.
As I was out hiking (and by hiking I mean walking briskly on a sidewalk in the middle of a neighborhood in the suburbs) I saw a little boy riding a little bike, complete with training wheels, being trailed by his dad, running behind him. They were headed right at me.
As the little boy’s legs tried to peddle the bike forward, it was obvious he was losing momentum and beginning to veer towards me. His dad, jogging behind him, placed his hand gently on his back to push him forward and kindly said, “stay right, stay right.” I nearly stopped dead in my tracks as this verse came to mind.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it…”
Regardless of where I am or how fast I am not going, Christ runs behind me, helping me up the hills that are too hard when my legs grow weary and telling my in what direction to steer when my handle bar begins to wobble. And because He’s God, I think He runs ahead of me too, clearing the path He would have me take of some hazardous obstacles. Things like pot-holes where I could potentially get stuck or limbs, perhaps, that could be sharp enough to pop my tires. All the while, He delights in me. Why? Because I am His kid. With the superman helmet and training wheels.
As this father ran behind his son, smiling, his son never looked back to make sure he was still there. He didn’t need to because he heard his dad’s voice and in knowing he was close, he peddled confidently.
God may we hear your voice. May we go where to you tell us. And may we run hard after you.