In a recent post, I mentioned that God had spoken to me through chapters 31 and 32 of Isaiah, and I shared from chapter 31 about how God alone is our steady Rock. In this post, I want to continue and share with you the treasure in chapter 32 that He opened my eyes to. I had never read this passage before last week, but when I read it, it really grabbed me.
Isaiah 32:1-2 says, Behold, a king will reign righteously and princes will rule justly. Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.
Do you see what I see? I believe that God is telling us how He wants us to be in this world. If God is our King, then we, as His children, are princes and princesses in His kingdom. We are His representatives in the world. So this description in Isaiah 32 of the princes… it should describe you and me!
This has really affected how I’m thinking and how I’m relating to people these last couple of weeks!
Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm. Think about this -- you’re outside and the wind is blowing like crazy. It’s messing up your hair and blowing things out of your hands, and it’s cold. You’ve experienced that, right? How nice does it feel to finally get inside or into your car? You get out of the wind and give a relieved sigh. Maybe you’re still annoyed that your hairstyle is destroyed for the day, but you’re glad to be out of the wind.
And the same situation when you get caught in a sudden rainstorm. You get soaked, but it’s such a relieving feeling to make it to shelter. I experienced this just the other day. I walked out of the mall to find rain coming down so hard it was like a thick gray curtain. By the time I made it to my car, I looked like I had just showered with my clothes on. I hopped in the car, shut the door, and let out a relieved -- and slightly amused -- laugh. My car was a safe place, out of the rain.
Like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. This portion of the text has much more of a personal significance to me, because of my experience last summer in working as camp staff. We had some very, very hot days last summer, and there were many days that I was -- like others -- out doing physical work in the heat for hours at a time. I would be totally drenched in sweat, and so thirsty that a bottle of water would become the sole motivation for finishing my work.
Think about the hottest and thirstiest you’ve ever been. Not a good feeling, is it? You’re sweaty, the sun is beating down on you mercilessly, and you’re parched. Can you image how amazing it would feel at that moment to jump in a cool stream? What a blessing it would be to sit down in the shade, and maybe feel a gentle breeze?
Isaiah 32:1-2 is telling us that this is how we should be to the people around us -- that place of shelter from the wind and rain, that refreshing stream of water, that shady spot out of the blazing sun. What kind of feeling or impression do people leave with after they’ve been in our presence? That’s a question each of us has to ask ourselves. Am I a safe place, a place people can be comfortable and feel relief from stress and troubles? Do I give out Living Water? Am I refreshing? Do people leave my presence smiling and feeling more rested, more peaceful?
I could name just 2 or 3 people I’ve met who are like that. You know, those people who make your day better just by being who they are. I want to be that kind of person… an Isaiah 32:2 kind of person.
Like I said, this Scripture has been affecting me the past few days. I’ve been trying to take into more careful consideration, “How can I be a shelter or a shady spot to this person? How can I make their day better?” Ultimately the question is, “How can I show God’s love to this person?” Because that’s the basis of it all. It definitely won’t always be easy -- sometimes we don’t feel like it, and there are some people who are just hard to be nice to.
But in the end, the goal is to point people to God. It’s NOT to get attention for ourselves… it’s not ONLY to bless people and make them smile… it’s ALL about God’s glory.