Saturday 20 October 2012


Back at the English camp in 2009 I spent a lot of time reading Isaiah 42 and 43, especially the verses:

And I will lead the blind    in a way that they do not know,in paths that they have not known    I will guide them.I will turn the darkness before them into light,    the rough places into level ground.These are the things I do,    and I do not forsake them. They are turned back and utterly put to shame,    who trust in carved idols,who say to metal images,    “You are our gods.”Isaiah 42 v 16- 17

But now thus says the Lord,he who created you, O Jacob,    he who formed you, O Israel:“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;    I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,    and the flame shall not consume you.Isaiah 43 v 1-2

Since that time these have become some of my favourite Old Testament verses and again this summer they became very real to me as I experienced God turning rough places into level ground, turning darkness into light and keeping His wonderful promises to never leave or forsake us.

The word that jumps out of me is “redeemed” and I’ve spent time looking into what the word means, with the ESV study Bible saying this:  
"The focus is on God’s intent to rescue his people from their captivity and to foster the conditions under which their piety can flourish.”

I love this description: that God not only saves us from the judgement and hell we deserve but He also places us in situations where our faith will grow.  I certainly experienced that this summer. 

At the beginning of my internship I remember going through a coaching document and highlighting different areas I wanted to grow in.  In one column I highlighted that I wanted to grow in leadership, conflict resolution and in organising/facilitating.  And, yes, God hit all of those.  He hit all of my “goals” for growth this summer, even those in other columns, to the extent that I remember looking at the document in the middle of the third term just to make sure that there wasn’t something God hadn’t grown me in that I was about to get a lesson in.

Of course now I joke that I’m never setting another goal for growth again..  Growth can be painful as I am stretched and challenged in ways I’d maybe grown rather comfortable in, too comfortable in. 

But as I look back on the summer I am so glad God grew me, I am so glad I see Him in a bigger way than I did in May.  There are elements of the summer I wouldn’t necessarily have wished on myself but through those situations God faithfully led and in that place my faith grew.

I am so thankful for how I saw God’s abundant provision in all things this summer – especially as the story continues….

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