I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s promises lately. Not just the ones that automatically come to mind when I think about the covenants of the Bible like God’s promise never to flood the whole earth again, or the list of Psalms saying the Lord will always be there during times of trial, but ones that have been showing up in my readings spontaneously, allowing me to know that the Lord hears my prayers and is making His fingerprints visible all over my life.
I came home from Europe almost two weeks ago from a semester abroad. Since my return, everything that could possibly have gone wrong, has. I’ve felt like I’ve been in some sort of battle (I do believe it’s a spiritual one) where instead of being able to fight back, I’m locked in one position being pounded from left and right, up and down. I’m realizing though, 13 days in, that the devotional set that pairs with Stephanie May Wilson’s The Lipstick Gospel I read while abroad, which didn’t come with the book before I left, but was sitting on my bed when I walked into my room from the airport, could not have been for a better time. Throughout my trip, whether it be by keeping my group safe, drawing people together to form lifelong friendships, or providing WiFi at a café because the hotel’s wasn’t working, I saw God’s faithfulness every day. Coming home to uncertainty and a change of plans blindsided me from seeing His goodness for a couple of days. Stuck in my feelings, I was slow to come around to the idea that I always reassure my friends with: “His plan is better than ours.”
Yesterday I was reading in Isaiah and the 54th chapter jumped out at me:
“‘I left you, but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back. It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you…For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won’t walk away from you, My covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.’ The God who has compassion on you says so.”
Isaiah 55 continues:
“I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you, the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love. I set him up as a witness to the nations, made him prince and leader of nations, and now I’m doing it to you…I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work…So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song.”
There was something about reading that, seeing how God’s promises piece back together the world’s brokenness…the church’s brokenness…my brokenness, fixing it with His love, that engulfed me with a sense of peace and hope. While I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, like my sweet college froomz reminded me, I just have to trust.
Trust His promises and His plans.