My best friend’s husband has just been released from ICU. He was diagnosed with COVID 19 and is slowly recovering. There are health issues remaining, and the long-term picture is unknown. How I long to comfort them!
A colleague from my last church is in the same situation. He has been sick for a month. What words of comfort can we give him?
Close to 1.5 million people have died worldwide, millions are infected, schools are struggling with remote learning, businesses are failing, families are separated, and the future, while hopeful, is still unknown.
We all long for comfort in this season. Where can we find hope?
In the book of Isaiah, we find the incredibly beautiful words of comfort that we need right now. The nation of Israel was living in isolation. A virus of extreme apostasy had infected the people, leaving them weak and vulnerable enough to be captured by the Babylonians. They became long haulers who were scattered about in foreign lands.
They needed a Savior.
Isaiah 40 (New Revised Standard Version)
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
But then God declared that their term of isolation had ended. God would bring not only comfort, but redemption.
3 A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Where in your life are you lacking comfort? Aside from the pandemic, where are you crying out for redemption? Are there addictions, relationships, economic realities, or sinful behaviors that are making you cry out for relief? Where do you need to be healed?
These words are for YOU. God is preparing a way in your wilderness. He is flattening all the obstacles that are blocking your path. He is raising up a valley of help and resources to meet your situation. He is leveling your playing field.
What are you to do? Look. Follow. Be obedient to the changes that he is requiring. Listen to his words and HEED them. Only then will the glory of his redemption be revealed in your life.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken! His words bring comfort. Open your ears and listen.