Elijah “came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die.”
Stories, we have many, but comfort? Do we have any? Hebrews seems to give some answer in 12:3: “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” OK, let’s consider Him:
Isaiah 50: 6 tells of Christ’s suffering, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. ” But, verse 7 broken down, adds hope; from the Septuagint version,
- But the Lord God became my Helper;
- therefore I was not ashamed,
- but I set my face as a solid rock; and
- I know that I shall never be ashamed.
In the abysmal unknown, comes God — in the throes of oblivion we meet our Maker. Oh, but with Him manifests comfort, with Him a Word in season. With Him, a revelation of His upholding hands, and that His love is never failing, never ending. This is love that passes knowledge, a love that sounds the depth of our shaken human heart and soul and body.
Therefore, I was not ashamed. There is no fear in love writes John, but perfect love casts out all fear. God’s Hope enhancing, makes us not-ashamed, and love is shed abroad in our heart. We cannot be full of shame for we are visited and so accepted by God Himself.
Next comes the setting of the face because we have been touched by the eternal God, and whatever He does, it shall be forever. We have gained the confidence of eternal commitment, a God who promises to perform that which concerns us. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Jeremiah cried in 10:19 and 30:12, “My wound is grievous.” in 15:18 he declared his wound to be “incurable.” But in 30:17 God speaks, “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeks after. ”
Friends, God is capable of healing any wound, whether simple or complex, immediate or ongoing, a sharp slash or continual rubbing. God simply can remove the “woundable” defense-laden part of our being and replace it with one “unwoundable.” Fact being, He has already done this; and in the suffering, when I find Him, I find the reality of His “already done” Cross, which included me –my death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session with Him at the right hand of the Father.
So, when I experience, through patience, His hope-giving nature in the depths of my being, God’s Spirit applies redemption’s very blood to my conscience, liberating my soul from it’s physical moorings, elevating it to it’s heavenly orientation and guess what? Old things are passed away, all has become new.
In closing, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Not tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. Not death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. love ya