You, my disciples, are to guard and protect the messages that God has given me. The Lord has hidden himself from his people, but I trust him and place my hope in him. Here I am with the children the Lord has given me. The Lord Almighty, whose throne is on Mount Zion, has sent us as living messages to the people of Israel. (verses 16-18)
Read Isaiah 8:16-9:1
There is no greater feeling of despair for a Christian than that of feeling that God ‘has hidden himself’. It may come at the loss of a job, the news of sickness, the death of a loved one. Experiences like these dare us to believe that there is a God who loves us. Jesus too felt this as he hung on the cross and uttered those words of despair ‘My God, my God, why did you abandon me?'(Mark 15:34).
What options are there for a Christian in this situation? To give up one’s faith in God? To look to the world for answers? Isaiah says simply, ‘I trust him and place my hope in him’. This same sentiment is echoed throughout the psalms: the God who appears to have turned his face is the God who comes to rescue those who trust in him.
If you have suffered, you will know that this trust does not always come easily and that the pain does not quickly disappear. My prayer for you is that you will wait for God and trust in his love.
God, when it seems that you are hiding your face, help me to keep looking to you and trust in you alone. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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