This quote grabbed my attention as the news broadcasts seem to continually bring word of major catastrophes, deaths, wars, and economic losses—amidst the US Presidential Inauguration.
God allows the props to be knocked out from beneath our feet in order that we might rest our weight fully upon Him. And this is true for nations as it is for individuals.
January 2013 is time when many have experienced “the props…knocked out” both individually and nationally—ideologically, politically, economically and relationally. What is shakeable is being shaken.
I’ve described it as feeling like I’m walking into a new room—one I’ve never seen before—and I’m trying to regain my equilibrium. In my memory the previous room had a reasonable order and predictability. This room appears to be filled with stuff –some identifiable and some not. It is chaotic in its lack of arrangement and leaves me with a sense of loss. I feel out of control. I want to turn around and go back, but alas. That is not possible. The door behind me is locked and the hallway in front of me is obviously the only way to move forward in this room.
I wonder if this was the way some felt in Isaiah’s day:
If one looks at the land, there is only darkness and distress; even the sun will be darkened by clouds. In the year that King Uzziah died…
Uzziah came to the throne at the age of 16. He was a capable, energetic and well-organized person, with many diverse interests, all of which he handled admirably. The Lord blessed him in all of his undertakings so that he prospered. He is characterized as one who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” Uzziah was a godly, powerful and successful king. He brought hope and soon became famous (2 Kgs 15; 2 Chr 26).
But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God.
While he was raging at the priest who confronted Uzziah, leprosy broke out. Uzziah was moved to a separate house, leprous and excluded from the temple, and from reigning the remaining years of his life.
What a shocking end to a prosperous period in Judah’s history. Talk about the props knocked out! People needing to regain their equilibrium… What happened to our prosperous king?
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted…(Is 6:1-3).
Once Isaiah “saw the Lord” his own condition as a “man of unclean lips living among a people of unclean lips” compelled him to cry “Woe to me! I am ruined.”
Admittedly I can easily slip on past the familiarity of this critical verse and move onto the “send me.”
But on this day, God lead me back to Isaiah’s cry. Regularly I ask God’s Spirit to search my heart for what displeases Him and give me a heart to repent. Only hours before I confessed the lack of love I expressed to a dear friend—someone I care about—yet my words reflected my self-centered desire that my own wishes pre-empt hers. Words spoken from unclean lips.
And then I realized my lack of expressions in prayer for this nation of “people of unclean lips” of which I am a part.
And I asked myself, “What are you praying concerning this nation?”
What about your own personal life? Is that being shaken? Have you seen as Isaiah did, your hopes and expectations put in a coffin? Could this be the prelude to a new vision of God? God has often to empty the throne of our hearts before He fills it with Himself. You may yet say: “In the year that all my hopes and expectations came crashing down, I saw the Lord.”
Navigating this seemingly new room of life (2013) with its chaotic stuff and shaking foundations may intentionally be God’s prompt to “rest our weight fully upon Him.”
“God allows the props to be knocked out from beneath our feet in order that we might rest our weight fully upon Him. And this is true for nations as it is for individuals” (Hughes, Every Day Light, 7).