I had one of those hard-to-shake dreams last night.
I nearly always wear a simple silver ring with the word “hope” etched into its surface. It’s a tangible reminder for me to stay aware of beauty and God’s goodness, to not give into despair or cynicism in the hard moments.
In my dream (due to complicated circumstances which included swimming in darkness through cold ocean waves to safety) this ring was changed by the water. The word “hope” was gone and in its place were the words of Isaiah 61:8, like they had been beneath the surface of “hope” all along. The scripture reference was bright in my mind when I woke up. I read Isaiah 61 and this is what brings me to this rather random post ~ re-reading it felt like a gift I wanted to share.
I don’t fully know why the Spirit led me to this, but reading these words felt like a deep breath I needed to take. Maybe I’ve made my idea of hope too small lately. I’ve been in a season of just taking things one day at a time (which sometimes is what we have to do), but maybe I needed a reminder of how my hope is infused with expectation and my one-day-at-a-time chapter is part of a story greater than I can even fully comprehend.
This is what we have been given ~ bold hope and high expectations simply because of who He is. His love is too big and He is too good to fail us. His faithfulness is our confidence and courage.
And so I feel a little voice saying “Take heart”. Remember, all over again, the promises of God for right now, in this moment, and all that is still to come.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn,
to console those who mourn in Zion,
to give them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they may be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
they shall raise up the former desolations,
and they shall repair the ruined cities,
the desolations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
and the sons of the foreigner
shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
they shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
and in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
everlasting joy shall be theirs.
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
and will make with them an everlasting covenant.
Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
And their offspring among the people.
All who see them shall acknowledge them,
that they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed.”
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its bud,
as the garden causes the things
that are sown in it to spring forth,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness
and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
~ Isaiah 61