God Acts

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)

Men of old certainly had many Gods, and asked of them many things, but Isaiah recognizes that it is only Jehovah who actually is known to take action for men. Isaiah remembers this in a very dark time – not when he is flush with joy at some miracle, but when it seems God has abandoned his people who have turned their hearts to other Gods.

I need to remember, too, when I am depressed or angry or full of self-pity. It will do no good to dwell on my own failures, or to resent my unpleasant circumstances. Remember this unusual God! The one who acts for those who wait for him. There is no other source of help.

He called himself Immanuel, the God who is willing to be with us, even though we are not always very good company. He is the God who humbles himself, who stoops to take our hands when we wallow in the mire of our self imposed misery. He is not the God whose favor we must earn, not a God who ‘helps those who help themselves’. He does not say indifferently “Get yourself together and present yourself before me decently, and I will consider your prayer.”

No, this is the God who sees and hears us in our distress, for he is not actually ever far from us. We have only closed our eyes and ears and hearts to him. This is the God who is moved with compassion for his children, who cannot endure their suffering.

So I must remember. Cry out to him. I have no idea what he will do this time, but I must remember what he did last time, and the time before that. He has been faithful, when I had no faith. He has acted when I was paralyzed with fear and doubt. He will act again. Remember, wait patiently, and see what he will do!

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