There is so much I love about Isaiah 40. It shows me that God and his word are all powerful, everlasting. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” I love the tenderness of the Lord expressed in these verses: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” He is beyond compare and he is more powerful than all the nations: “To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? … He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.” And he uses his power and his might to give attention to detail and to take care of his creation: “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
And I especially love these verses,
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
These verses encourage me so much because I am so often weary. I often want to give up. I often don’t want to persevere, don’t want to work continuously and tirelessly to overcome a challenge. I can be positive and endure difficult things with a good attitude for about two days. Then I begin to wonder how I’m going to make it and why I should even have to experience challenges in my life. But these verses from Isaiah remind me that God is the everlasting God, the Creator of the universe, who never grows tired or weary and who has perfect, comprehensive wisdom and understanding. And He promises to give strength to the weary and to provide power to the weak. He enables us to soar on wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint. I will trust him to do all this in my life because, boy, am I prone to weakness and weariness.
I was struck by this verse in Revelation 4:11-
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
What struck me about this verse is the simple truth that God is the Creator and I am the created. This makes Him worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. And this makes me unworthy to receive glory, honor, and power. He is all powerful, He is wise, He is in control of all things. All this is demonstrated in his creation of the universe and of me. And the root of my sin and arrogance is choosing not to believe that He is Creator and worthy of all glory, honor, and power. The root of my sin and arrogance is in believing that I should receive glory, honor, and power and acting on that belief. Oh God, would you humble me and constantly remind me of your truth.
Have any of you twitter users ever tried to log in, but received a page that said “Twitter is Over Capacity” and had this picture beneath these words? That just happened to me for the first time, and I thought this picture was so cute that I wasn’t even upset. Props to Twitter. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
We had a great weekend! Highlights include Ikea and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Saturday was my husband’s first time in Ikea, and he survived. I am very proud of him, and I really appreciate him coming with me to look at furniture and decorating ideas! We did a thorough walk-through and ate lunch in the cafeteria there. I really wanted to try something new, but under the pressure of ordering, I went back to my old stand-by. You might find this strange, but at Ikea my old stand-by is the Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry sauce. I attribute this to the weekend I spent in Stockholm while I was studying abroad in Berlin a couple of semesters ago. I had the most delicious Swedish meatballs there, and I have been a fan ever since.
On Sunday we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, which proved to be a bit of hype. They were also quite crowded due to the fact that it happened to be “Bring Your Kids Dressed Up in their Halloween Costume” Saturday. There were a ton of people wandering around, about half of them being children under the age of 10 dressed as pumpkins, pirates, princesses, and everything else you could imagine. It was pretty adorable. We enjoyed the large conservatory/green house with all sorts of crazy plants inside, including orchids, cinnamon trees, and cissus plants (whose roots actually hang down – check out this picture. The plants are on the ceiling and those tan streaks are the roots are hanging down)!
Here are a few other pictures from the gardens:
Last night we went to a hockey game that my husband’s company gave out tickets for. It was pretty fun and the play was amazingly fast-paced. What was even more amazing though was this bird head on top of the jumbotron that would open up and spit flames. I tried so hard to get a good picture of it, but my camera was too slow! This picture gives you somewhat of an idea, though the full height and breadth of the flame was much larger than what I captured.
And here’s a close-up of the bird head and a shot of the ice!
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”
These verses blew me away today as they offered such comfort to me. Isn’t it amazing how Scripture speaks so directly to us? No wonder it describes itself as “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). My husband started his job yesterday, and today I began to panic a little about what I’m going to do. Fears of boredom and aimlessness crept in. And then I read Psalm 84. That last verse, “O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you,” hit me hard. I realized that this time is not a circumstance to persevere through, but rather an opportunity, a privilege, to trust the Lord wholly to satisfy and even exceed my every need and desire. I am an extrovert to the core. But the Lord is even more relational than me. He’s been in relationship with the other members of the Trinity, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, forever. And He has invited me in to that relationship. So instead of dreading the days to come, I am looking forward to spending them with the Lord, enjoying His presence, and trusting Him. I’m excited to see how He will bless me, my husband, our marriage, everything, not necessarily with happiness, comfort, pleasure, and ease, but with the joy of His presence and the transforming of my heart and my mind to be more like His.