Digest the Miracle

As someone who loves nice clothes but hates spending money, I am sometimes referred to as “the consignment shop queen.” I prefer smaller, boutique consignment shops over thrift stores, partially because I am such an impatient shopper. When I hear my friends describe the way their husbands buy clothes, I can relate. But one day, with an hour to kill, my daughter and I visited a local and trendy thrift store. 

My daughter was thrilled to discover several bookshelves packed with Christian books for $1 and $2 each. Most of the thrill of a thrift store is the treasure hunt! I spied two books I had been meaning to read, and seeing them both there felt like a gentle nudge from God. We left with a half-dozen books, throw pillows, and several other things that will likely make their way right back to the same thrift store after a little more consideration!

Last night I was reading one of my finds, The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey. This quote jumped off the page: “With yesterday’s miracle still digesting in their bellies, they asked for yet another miraculous sign. They were addicted.” 

Yancey was referring to the passage in John 6, where only a day after Jesus fed the five thousand, the crowds asked Him for another sign. Yancey says, “An old Jewish tradition taught that the Messiah would renew Moses’ practice of serving manna, and had not Jesus done that very thing the day before? With yesterday’s miracle still digesting in their bellies, they asked for yet another miraculous sign. They were addicted.”

Sometimes God gives us small glimpses into heaven when we feel His presence or see our prayers answered. My initial response of praise and thanksgiving can often too quickly turn to, “okay, what’s next?” My dear friend, who has been trying to help me nail down my Enneagram number, might see this tendency as more evidence that I could be an Enneagram 7 (although I’m still leaning toward a 3)! I believe that most of us, regardless of our personality type, find a way to turn almost anything into an idol – even a miracle.

The last several months have been a huge adventure for me. I have seen God answer some of my most persistent prayers in a very short period of time. My journals, packed with these prayers, shout the kindness and faithfulness of our God to grant so many of my heart’s desires. It know it sounds too good to be true. I can hardly believe it myself! One shocking answer after another. It has been a thrill! And yet, yesterday I found myself becoming restless once again. I could identify with those insatiable crowds. What is wrong with me? What is the answer?

Jesus gave us all the answer in John 6:35, “…‘I AM the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.’”

I can enjoy Jesus’ company. Instead of anxiously looking around for what is next, I can digest my already answered prayers by spending time with Him. I can slow down and share my testimony to encourage others. In those times when I do feel truly at rest in Him, I know I have experienced something miraculous. Jesus is the prize.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good and delight yourselves in rich food.” Isaiah 55:1-2 (ESV)

And once again, I met Jesus in Isaiah. 

A Reflection by Dawn Trull

Mosaic art by Dawn Trull

Isaiah 53 is the beautiful prophecy of our Savior and what He has done and continues to do for us.  The people in the prophet Isaiah’s day were longing for a savior to bring relief from the struggles and distress of their lives.  The Jewish people were not looking for Jesus, but rather a strong military figure to solve their problems with their enemies.  Today, this prophecy has been fulfilled through Jesus, but some of us are still looking for relief from struggle and strife.  Do we understand what kind of a Savior God sent?

       As a Biblical Counselor, I meet with many people who are looking for relief from the strife that sin has caused in their lives.  Either the consequences of their own sin, or that of others in this broken world.  Yes, our Savior has given those of us who walk with Him the promise of perfection one day.  But what can we do today to relieve our very real struggles?  In large part, it is strengthening our relationship with God, and in order to do that, we must have the problem of sin resolved.  God’s plan for relief came with the sacrifice of His own Son.  “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace….”  (Isaiah 53:5).  The problem then was sin—and it still is the problem.  We cannot come to God until our sin is removed.

“…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” Isaiah 1:18

Photography credit: Clay Clark

       Let’s walk through Isaiah 55 to see what God’s Word says about relief from sin.  

First, “seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near…”  (55:6).  When we reach out to God through prayer and his Word, He promises to be there for us.  Next, “return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on [us].”  (55:7).  We must ask God, what are my sins—not what has my neighbor done against me—but what are MY sins?  God will reveal our sins to us when we ask Him.  Do not be afraid, He is the perfect Father and wants to teach us through this process. His purpose is not to punish, but to forgive the sin of a repentant heart, so that relationship with Him can be restored.  

When our sin has been revealed to us, we must repent.  This means asking God for forgiveness, for He is the one we have sinned against.  His promise is to “abundantly pardon” us for our sins.  (55:7).  Our Father provided the perfect way to be in relationship with Him.  It is not about keeping all His laws, because we will most certainly mess that up!  It is about recognizing our sin, asking forgiveness, and desiring to sin no more.  God wants a relationship with us, and any unconfessed sin keeps us from enjoying a relationship with Him.  

God’s perfect plan for salvation, prophesied through Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, still applies to us today.  

“My word that goes out from My mouth shall not return empty, but it shall accomplish that which I propose…” (55:11).

Meet Me In Isaiah is a ministry that encourages all of us to look for the Savior in Isaiah 53. He is already waiting, longing for a relationship with us.  His plans for us are bigger than our struggles of today.  “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”  (55:12).  He is calling us to Him, to a feast where all His children will gather. Imagine what a celebration that will be for all believers!