Friday, July 22, 2011
Today’s Topic: Here It Comes
Today’s Text: Isaiah 49:8-9a This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’
Years ago I learned something about myself, and since then I have noticed it in others as well. We all have verbal crutches. I discovered it when I got my first job in radio as an announcer. My boss would record us while we were on the air, and then call us into his office to listen to the tape. It was revealing. Three out of every four sentences I spoke while the microphone was live started with the word “Hey.” Weird, huh? Coming out of a song I would say, “Hey, that was…” and then name the song and artist. Or I would begin a news segment with, “Hey, let’s look at the news.” Almost every sentence started with that word. It was my crutch, or as I now call it, my clutch. You see, it was what had to be released to get the brain engaged so the mouth could move.
Some people, in fact a lot of people, use simple clutches, the most popular being “Umm…” Just listen to people and you will start to hear it used all the time. Even public speakers do it. For some reason the foot is always on the clutch and they keep pushing it in just a little and it “umm’s”. Why is it that we have to be making some kind of noise while we think about what’s next to say?
Well, after I got the “Hey” clutch resolved, I developed another one. This one became famous in that part of the world where I worked. I became the weather guy at the radio station and was responsible for reading the radar system we had installed. I also worked closely with Civil Defense in determining the need for the sirens to be sounded. I actually had a remote desk and broadcast equipment in their offices in the basement of the courthouse.
When storms would be coming, and their path had been carefully predicted, I began saying the phrase “Here it comes.” It was fine at first, because it started in the summer, and the path of those storms is more easily predicted. However, when winter came, and I made my first big prediction of a blizzard and said “Here it comes,” it never came. Schools had been cancelled; businesses were shut down, and then nothing. The storm totally went around us. How embarrassing. That’s when I was told by my boss that I had been using the phrase “Here it comes” too frequently. I had developed another crutch.
God never says “Here it comes” as a crutch. When He says it, it will happen. The rest of the forty-ninth chapter of Isaiah is God’s “Here it comes” for the nation of Israel. It declares the beginnings of the plan of God for the redemption of His people. That plan will be revealed for the rest of the book. At a time of God’s choosing, when all is favorable for the revelation of His glory, He will answer our prayers and help us.
I tend to help myself too much. I tend to evaluate whether or not this is the time of God’s favor. Unfortunately it usually turns out to be the time of my favor. But God has a time of favor. He knows our every need. He knows how to meet that need and do it within the context of His purpose. He has said “Here it comes”. We tend to put too much emphasis on the word “Here”, believing that means right now. But God will not fail to bring what He has promised. His redemption is coming, and reading the rest of this chapter was a good reminder of that. It also filled me with great joy to see the glory of God revealed. Take some time to read it for yourself. (Isaiah 49:8-26)