Beauty For Ashes
Sing out. . . . For the Lord comforts his people. (Isaiah 49:13)
Have you ever noticed how much sadness and self-pity there is in blues music? The singer has unjustly lost his lover, his dreams have led to disappointment, his life is a shambles, or he has nothing to look forward to. The music is in a minor key, and the rhythms are mournful, all to reinforce the mood.
Well, the Israelites had reason to sing the blues. Their enemies had destroyed their city and their Temple. Those who weren’t killed were taken into exile far from home. When their captors asked them to sing one of their traditional songs, they protested, “How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4).
In the midst of this depressing situation, God’s prophet begins to proclaim a message of hope: God is on the move! He is going to liberate the prisoners and make a way for the exiles to return to their land.
The prophet reminds the people who God is. He is the One who “leads them and guides them beside springs of water” (Isaiah 49:10). Even though they feel as if God has abandoned and forgotten them, he tells them this cannot be. Even if a mother could forget her baby, God has not, cannot, and will not his people—ever!
So the people have a choice. They can continue to sing the blues, remembering their shame and how hard their lot is. Or they can place their trust in the God who loves them.
We all face demanding times in life because we live in a sinful world. But God is with us, just as he was with the exiled Israelites. He will never forget us. He is ready to comfort us no matter how dark things look.
King David trusted in the Lord even though there was a bounty on his head. Jeremiah trusted in the Lord even though the people turned on him and put him in a cistern. Paul trusted in the Lord even after he was beaten and imprisoned. Jesus trusted in his Father even as he hung on the cross. Of course God will not abandon us in our times of trial and darkness!
“Holy Spirit, teach me to sing your song of joy. Even in my darkest times, revive me with your presence.”
Daily Thought from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)