February 20, 2021

Back Where I Belong

In his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Isaiah 63:9
There were many instances when Israel was cornered. Their backs were against the wall, and only God could deliver them from the trouble they found themselves in. And, indeed, God delivered them. In modern terms, we might define the word "deliver" this way: Carry something to its destination. In fact, the official term for the person who does this for the U.S. Postal Service isn't a deliveryman or -woman, but a letter carrier.
This helps me better picture God as a deliverer. It's God who carries me to where I need to be... not where I want to be, but where God knows is best for me. Like a wayward lamb. I too often wander away on my own. I look off in the distance and think the grass must be greener over there on the other side. And so off I go. Perhaps I find once I get there that the green grass is just a bunch of weeds. Or what looked greener was just an illusion. Or perhaps what I saw was impossible to reach. Whatever the reason, it's good to know that there's One who will carry me back, not to where I thought I wanted to be, but to where I needed to be all along—to where, in fact, I belonged.

When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.
 Luke 15:5
Prayer after meditating on the scriptures:
Lord I've been branded a loyal sinner—seems like forever since I said your Name. I'm just a pilgrim still afraid of dying, but the sea is shining brightly with your grace.

Carry me home; sweet Jesus, lift me until I've flown the shadow of shame. Your love alone, Lord Jesus, mends me. Lift me up, O Lord, carry me home.
 Aaron Shust & Dan Hannon
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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