by Kathy Matuschka
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You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless’. You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint (Isaiah 57:10).
Read Isaiah 57:1–13
I am amused at how we and the media make our human strivings sound like we have worked out the secret; that we have it all wrapped up! For example, when my husband and I were establishing a new business direction, working long hours without knowing whether we would succeed or not, I would read stories of small business owners who talked about how flexible their life was now that they worked for themselves. I would think to myself: yes, owning your own business is flexible: you get to work by day, by night, on weekends, whenever. It is flexible, but not necessarily in the inspirational way the magazine article portrays it!
When we invest in something new and we find a little success or refreshment as a result, it is easy to let the pursuit of it become our latest solution to the human condition. In our personal lives we turn good things like food, drink, work, exercise or entertainment into idols. In our congregations we can come to rely on certain people, or traditions, or innovations at times when God is waiting patiently for us to say: ‘It is hopeless. Clinging to the way we did things in the past, or chasing the latest trend are stopping us from acknowledging that in the end we can rely only on God to teach us and lead us through these confusing times.’
In contrast, God assures us in verse 13:
… whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain.
One more thing: today’s text contains some graphic images of Israel’s unfaithfulness towards Yahweh their God, to the point that they harmed their own children. While the accounts shock us, we know that also in our times people who purport to be God-fearing can commit atrocious acts towards God’s beloved children. Therefore, let us pray: Lord, have mercy – heal your church and heal your world!
Dear Jesus, thank you that you have given me so many good things to bless me and others. I’m sorry for the times that I rely too heavily on them instead of finding my refuge only in you. By your Spirit, keep me grounded and resting in you, Amen.
For most of her life, Kathy Matuschka has preferred to give witness to her Christian faith using her ears and her hands. As a person for whom writing has not come easily, she now delights in learning to share her gospel hope using words as well. Kathy serves within the LCA Queensland District as Assistant Director for Ministry & Mission.