Today's devotion from Isaiah 12 and 13.
Corrie ten Boom was a remarkable woman. She aided Jews and resistance fighters against the Nazis in the Netherlands during World War II. Ultimately, she was discovered and sent to a concentration camp with many others from her family. Even though she had seen so much suffering and sorrow, endured so much pain, she did not let that define her. There is even an account in which she came face to face with a guard who asked for her forgiveness. The description of that event is powerful.
I remember hearing a sermon illustration once in which I was introduced to a poem attributed to her called, "Life is But a Weaving." In this poem, she writes, "Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside."
Our reading in Isaiah 12 tells of the moment when a redeemed people see the upper side of the tapestry. When they finally see their pain and sorrow from the perspective of God, they understand. It was all done because, "Indeed, God is my salvation." (Isaiah 12:2, CSB) In these verses, the remnant will be able to comprehend the complex pattern woven by the Master as worthy of praise. They will say, "Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things." (Isaiah 12:5, CSB)
We are often tempted to think of the glories things in our lives from our perspective. Nothing glorious could cause us pain, right? How do you think this remnant in Isaiah would answer that after enduring exile and loss? No. Salvation is free, but redemption is not entirely painless. Because of our own rebellious hearts God often has to do the difficult work of correcting us.
God has given greatly for our redemption. Further, He has paid in other ways. His faithful persistence, His reluctance to simply allow us to wander away, every aspect of the plan of redemption has been costly. The cost is precisely what makes it so glorious. Yet, salvation bought at the expense of His grace does not insure that restoration will be painless. But there is purpose in the pain.
This song of praise was offered by those who finally saw the purpose of their pain, and in this song they declare both God and His plan worthy as they stand fully restored before Him. It is worth it. He is worth it.