Isaiah 41:14-20

            Each morning I rise and read God’s Holy Word.  It is a discipline I’ve been doing for nearly 40 years.  In the past few years, I have begun reading more slowly and with greater contemplation –  because the goal is not to check off that you have read some verses on a Bible reading plan.  The aim is to connect meaningfully with God.  The desired result is to hear from him, and to let the Scriptures do their incredible work in our hearts.
            One of the ways I connect with Scripture, after having read the verses for the day several times, is to write it in my own words, using personal pronouns.  This morning is one of those days.  Here is today’s Old Testament lesson interpreted and personalized with God being the speaker….
“My dear servant, there is no need whatsoever to worry yourself,
though others say about you,
            ‘That guy is nothing, only a wormy maggot!’
I am your holy God,
            who saves and protects you.
I’ll let you be like a big ol’ log
            covered with sharp spikes.
You will grind and crush
every mountain and hill in front of you
            until they turn to dust.
A strong wind will scatter the dust of unholy jerks
            in all directions.
Then you will celebrate
and praise me, your LORD,
            The holy God who watches your life.
When your financial budget doesn’t budge
and your bank accounts lie empty
            and you have no idea where to turn,
I, your LORD and your God
will come to your rescue.
            I will not forget you.
I will make rivers of abundance flow
            on the desolate mountain peaks in your life.
I will send streams of life
to fill your empty valley of life’s tribulations.
Dry and barren places in your life
will flow with springs
            and become a lake of grace and goodness.
I will fill the parched desert areas of your needy life
            with all kinds of fruitful trees –
apple trees, olive trees, fig trees,
oak and walnut, elm and maple, fir and pine,
like in the original garden,
all your needs will be met in and through me, your God.
Everyone will see this
            and know that I,
the holy LORD God whom you love and serve,


            created every bit of it.”

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