Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eden...the garden of the LORD.

Isaiah 51:3 .....Eden, .....the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

I read this last night on my journey through Isaiah. I've taken it out of context a bit, here Isaiah is actually talking about how he will comfort and restore the Jewish people (Zion). The full verse actually reads; 
            "3For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."

I've never read this verse before last night and we've had Eden picked as a name for our second daughter for a long while now. I have often, this last year, felt like captured Israel, waiting on the Lord to restore me and revive me; to come charging in to save the day and make all things in my world right again. So many times I've said, "But Lord, my son is still dead. Are you JUST going to stand there and watch? You know, YOU CAN change all of this if you want to." Because God, of course, needs reminded by me of what He can and cannot do??? Um, no. But still, why then? Why am I fighting this battle if all he has to do is speak and all my trouble will be put to rest? The best answer I have is "I-dun-no?" I do know that out of the ashes (ha! no pun intended) of the last year I have grown closer to Christ. My walk is more beside Him, instead of running ahead or struggling to catch up from behind. I know that I trust his promises more fully now and have witnessed His faithfulness in my darkness and unbelief.

So if He promises to comfort and restore Zion, which is also a promise he gives to me, then I will believe Him. And it is no coincidence that this verse holds so much meaning to me AFTER we picked out Eden's name. Beauty, joy, gladness, thanksgiving and a voice of melody (which I take to mean a heart full of praise, rather than a beautiful voice); what more could I ask for in a daughter or in my own healing??

The book of Isaiah has been such a comfort to me during my pregnancy, it's taking a long time to read it all, but that is mostly because it takes so much time to process all the gems I've found there. The whole first half of the book is about how God will lay waste to the people of Israel because of sin, but then you come to a turning point when God decides that it is time for His children to be reclaimed and ransomed. God so perfectly balances wrath and mercy, righteous hate and love, justice and grace. I almost stopped reading Isaiah in the first half because I was so confused by how my good, loving God could choose and cause the desolation of the ones he calls His children. It's because justice, wrath, and righteous hate are each 100% of God's person just as mercy, love and grace are. And, frankly, if God isn't going to exact wrath on Satan and sin, I want nothing to do with Christianity. But He is/has/will, so I do want in.

Since it is so close to Christmas, I though I'd pick a Christmas song. O Come Emmanuel is one of my favorites and it fits this theme of God rescuing and restoring so nicely.