By Debbie Dodd
Where do you turn…
- …When your child gets sick?
- …When your paycheck doesn’t last until the end of the month?
- …When the stock market takes a downturn?
- …When you see the world hurtling in distressing and troubling directions?
- …When all that’s associated with COVID overwhelms you?
Those are the contemporary expressions of the questions that the prophet Isaiah asks. In his day, the characters’ names were different, but they were faced with the same fundamental question—the question that confronts each of us. In whom or what do you trust? And God says there is only one correct answer.
In the late 8th century BC, their internet would have been plastered with news of a large country to the north step-by-step conquering all the nearby lands. All the political pundits would have urged the leaders to make an alliance with the large country to the south for protection. Trust in the military! All the economic advisors would have recommended an excellent investment in stocks like Tesla and how to get great deals at Amazon or Walmart. Trust in wealth! And all the social media sites would be pushing the latest health guru or horoscope or talk show host. Trust in spirituality and contemporary wisdom!
However, God, through Isaiah, says, “Trust in me! Turn to me first and primarily.” This is not a one-time decision to pray for fire insurance, but this is when life falls apart on a small or large scale. Where do we place our hope? In Isaiah’s day, like ours, it’s most natural to depend on what we can see and hear – power, money, and whatever promises success and fulfillment. But God calls us to a radical abandonment of our lives into His hands because we trust in his word and his character. He invites us to a confident expectation of his action on our behalf, letting Him decide the terms. “Those who hope/wait/trust in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (40:31)
I’m personally challenged as I have been soaking in Isaiah during these two weeks of quarantine in Taiwan as I prepare for my fall class on this book which I am woefully inadequate to teach. This book about trust becomes very personal when the news is full of stories of our big neighbor to the west, which is literally on our doorstep (or airspace), and it’s easy to put hope in the United States ships in the nearby waters instead of my Savior. I was challenged to ask those questions when we stayed in the States for an extra month and a half this summer because COVID shut down many ministries dear to our heart in Taiwan, and it’s easy to trust a decrease in infections instead of my Father. I’m challenged to ask those questions of myself because I believe God is good and gracious, and is not only able, but desires to pour out his best on me as I trust Him. I invite Him to search me and know me and to lead me in how to trust Him.
He invites you to do the same.
In the comments below, share with us your answer to this question…
- How are you struggling to trust God?
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