By Pastor Ieisha Hawley
Daily Lectionary Reading: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 30:19-26; Acts 13:16-25
Selected Passage: Isaiah 30:19-26
Isaiah 30:18-26 NRSV
God’s Promise to Zion
18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may 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. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ 22 Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, ‘Away with you!’
23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24 and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ v21
While I am waiting on Him, it is the confidence in quietness that gives me strength to reflect and rebound. 2021 was a challenging year for me on many fronts. However, I learned that quieting my soul and being still physically, mentally, and spiritually allowed the Holy Spirit to recoup my strength and help me move forward to an amazing season that I am in RIGHT NOW.
There were days that my eyes were so full of tears that I couldn’t see. My body ached with grief. My head always felt like it was exploding. Then the Comforter came in and rescued my total being so I could stand up in this very season. In the voice of William Murphy “This is my season for grace, for favor. This is my season of favor to reap what I have sown. Everythin’ is workin’ together for my good.”
I am here to testify that going back to the basics in every area of your life invites G_D’s presence to surround you, in every season–good, bad, or indifferent. Angels will help you to praise your way through.
Beloved, His mercy endures forever!
How good it is to center down!
To sit quietly and see one's self pass by! The streets of our minds seethe with endless traffic; Our spirits resound with clashings, with noisy silences, While something deep within hungers and thirsts for the still moment and the resting lull. With full intensity we seek, ere the quiet passes, a fresh sense of order in our living; A direction, a strong sure purpose that will structure our confusion and bring meaning in our chaos. We look at ourselves in this waiting moment — the kinds of people we are. The questions persist: what are we doing with our lives? — what are the motives that order our days? What is the end of our doings? Where are we trying to go? Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused? For what end do we make sacrifices? Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life? What do I hate most in life and to what am I true? Over and over the questions beat in upon the waiting moment. As we listen, floating up through all the jangling echoes of our turbulence, there is a sound of another kind — A deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear. It moves directly to the core of our being. Our questions are answered, Our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round With the peace of the Eternal in our step. How good it is to center down!
— Howard Thurman in Meditations of the Heart
Lord Jehovah, you said in your word to be still and know that you are G_D. As we draw in our wandering minds, we enter your presence knowing that all things work together for our good. We thank you for the grace you have given to us to be effective in serving others. Your blessed assurance completes our strength. We will continue to trust each and everyday your power that resides in us. Amen
About the Author
Pastor Ieisha Hawley is an ordained Covenant Lead Pastor at Arlington United Church, Arlington, Washington, and a Religious Coordinator at Washington State Monroe Correctional Facility. A 2015 Masters of Divinity graduate of Howard University School of Divinity, Pastor Ieisha is an anointed, vibrant, and powerful woman of God, called to be hands and feet in the earth. Connect sat www.ieishahawley.com.