Do you ever daydream about a time when things will be different than they are now? Sometimes it’s discontentment or not being present… but there are times when that sense of future bliss is the Kingdom of God bubbling up in our hearts!
If I were to ask you to make a list of things that aren’t right, I assume you could come up with a pretty good list… racism, poverty, oppression, violence etc. There are so many things that aren’t right in the world: social constructs that are broken, broken government, broken families, your workplace, your church, your marriage, your kids and you. We’re all a product of brokenness at some level. Most of the time ranting about all that’s wrong in the world isn’t helpful and only leads to despair.
I was reading something from the Bible recently and I just wasn’t getting it… chapter after chapter about judgement upon nations Assyrian, Babylon, Moab, Cush, Egypt… and relevance continued to fade. Does Isaiah have something to say to a modern people? Then in chapter 35 the prophet shifts gears, he begins writing about a future bliss, a time when things will be different, the title of the chapter in my Bible is The Joy of the Redeemed.
One day things will be different, there won’t be unwatered lands, handicap bodies will be strong, blindness and deafness overcome, the curse will be reversed, the lame will leap like a deer, the mute will shout for joy, water will flow in the wilderness.
Acknowledging that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be doesn’t have to lead to complaining or despair, but can lead to hope and longing and the possibility of bringing redemptive changes into our present reality.
The redemptive changes the prophet speaks of come as a result of beholding “the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.” Things can begin to change as we get glimpses of Gods glory. Where do I find this glory when things aren’t right in the world? How can I see God’s splendor amidst the brokenness of the world? Acknowledge and savor glory and splendor when you see them. When you see beauty, when justice prevails in a situation, when the good music plays, in the people you encounter and in the solace that comes through prayer… there is glory; there is splendor!
As the glory begins to stream into the cracks of our disordered world, things start to change, water starts to flow in the wilderness and wrongs are made right again. So rather than settle for a disordered broken world, let some glory in… listen to the sounds, see and experience beauty, quietly listen for God and remember things won’t always be like this.