Monday, April 21, 2008

Isaiah 54 Week 3 Getting Prepared

Isaiah 54

2 "Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your descendants will dispossess nations
and settle in their desolate cities.

Welcome to another wonderful week. I hope you had restful weekend, or at least productive.

Last week, we reviewed Isaiah 54:1 and out biblical sister was Hannah. We were told not to despair at our currently lack of conception and birth, instead to look forward to the abundance that God had in store for us. We should consider the our approach to our hopes and dreams, closing our ears to nay-sayers around us and instead concentrating on what God and our inner-self is tell us even in the face of jeering or opposition. We should be excited about our future, not because of what we see today, but because of what is left unseen and promised for tomorrow. As the expectation of Christmas approaches, we may have an inkling of what should be under the tree, but we allow for the spontaneity of our loved ones to bless us with even a more meaningful gift. Such is God and our own lives. We have the capacity to desire what the inkling--the twinkling of our futures--but we need to allow God to place some serendipitous moments in our future that make it a joyful mission.

This week, we will look at being prepared for our tomorrows, as Isaiah 54 entreats us: enlarge our tents with expectations. As we look at our being prepared I want us to spend one last moment with Hannah as we catch a glimpse into her own spiritual preparedness for what is to come:

17 Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

18 She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, [c] saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."

In verse 18, it says that she went away and ate something. For those of us who are preparing for and incubating a baby, we know that nutrition is the most important part. To make sure we have enough vitamins and minerals...folic acid, etc. Well, she had heard from the Lord that he would bless her. And, so she set about preparing her body for its blessing. I love how she names Samuel, saying "Because I asked the LORD for him." She places herself as an active participant in her blessing and her future.

We need to be actively engaged in our present and our future blessings/goals/missions. Our life is not to sit downcast because we are not where we want to be. Our life is to get prepared, get actively before God in faith and get our selves prepared for tomorrow. And to be sure, when we actively engage, we best cast a wide net, we best get our tent prepared, because God does not come in small way, but in a BIG way. Hannah went on to give birth to three more sons after Samuel, and to become a prophet/songstress for her people.

So, today, consider your surroundings. If God were to bless you today with your desires, your dreams, your hopes..are you ready?

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