December 16 | Isaiah 48:12-22
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A Game of Life
by Judy Webb
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)
Having lived for much of my life in a household of alcoholics, it was hard not to play the what-if game. Before I learned to love and lean on Jesus, what-if was a battle cry I fell back on often. What if I had different parents; what if they were like my friend’s parents; what if things could change, and so on. As I grew in years and in wisdom I learned that I would not be who I was today had the what if’s come to pass.
“If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:18)
Like many of you, I suspect that once we grew up and learned the ways of life, we may have traded in the what-if game for the if only sport. It may have played out like this: if only I hadn’t…if only I knew then what I know now…if only I was prettier, smarter, richer…etc. I was a player of this game for too many years. By the way, there are no winners in either game.
“Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant.” (Isaiah 48:20)
It is so good to be on this side of my childhood. To have come out of my captivity as a prisoner of life to be a redeemed and recovered child of God. It may sound trite to read, but there is freedom in faithful living. There is peace in sharing our burdens with the only One who can do anything about them. And there is such overwhelming joy in knowing Jesus and walking the paths He has laid out before us. There is no longer the what-if or the if only, simply the word, Amen.
Dear Jesus, during this Advent season, help us to see you everywhere we look. Reveal your reason for coming as Savior to each of us. Enable us to see the need for salvation. We pray also that we can really understand the reason for this season. We want to see Jesus, we want to hold the baby close and share the precious bundle of life-giving love.