There are all sorts of friends. There are work friends that you don’t interact with much outside the office, church friends, college friends and long-term friends. Then there are smaller subcategories of friends … the “help-you-move” friends and “take-you-to-the-airport” friends are a rare breed. Everyone needs at least one 3:00am friend to call when you are struggling in the middle of night, and they don’t question why you called so late. This type of friend will drop everything to be with you while you grieve a loss. That’s the truest of friends.
Isaiah 57:15 says, “For this is what the high and exalted One says, he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’ “
Our English language doesn’t do this verse justice. The way it has been translated makes it sound very religious and exclusive. God only lives with those who are contrite and humble. Contrite and humble? Hmmm, that leaves me out. But if you dig into the meaning of the words, you will see a much different picture.
Listen to it this way: “For this is what the high and exalted One says, he who lives in eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one whose spirit has been broken and crushed like fine dust and with the one whose spirit is depressed and low. I live with them to revive and bring life back to their depressed and low spirit and to revive and bring life back to the heart of those who are crushed and broken.’ “
The love and worship I have of God as I read this truth is hard to put into words. But with all that is within me, I say “YES!” God, You are so high, exalted, so “other-than” that we as humans cannot look on Your glory. Your name is holy, and You rightfully live in Your high and holy place, and yet You also live with me, even when I am broken, crushed and depressed in spirit. When I would like to hide in a hole and pull the hole in on top of myself, You know right where I am, and You are there with me. You live with me there to bring life back to my heart and spirit. All I know to say is Hallelujah! What a Father, Savior, Comforter, Healer and the ultimate 3:00am Friend.
Be blessed to hear your Father speak to you about his deep bonds with you, deeper than friendship, deep attachment to you with cords of unfailing love (Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:4). Hear him speak to you about trust, faith and love that is much deeper than just surviving. Hear the soft voice of your Father speaking in the core of your essence: you are the beloved, right where you are. On you His favor rests. He sees you as a precious being. Be blessed to know you were infinitely loved before you were wounded. That’s the truth of your life. Your life is an unceasing “yes” to the fact that you are beloved because of God’s great love, and you are an heir to his healing power.
Your Father says, “I called you by name from the very beginning. You belong to me, and I know you as my own, and I am yours. I molded you in your mother’s womb. I carved you in the palms of my Son. I hide you in the shadow of my embrace. You have my infinite tenderness, and I care for you intimately. I have counted every hair on your head, and wherever you go, I go with you. Wherever you rest, I keep watch. I give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst. I will never hide my face from you. Nothing will ever separate us. Wherever you are, I am. Live your life as my redeemed child. You can reach out to true inner freedom and find it evermore fully.”
Be blessed in the name of the high and exalted One whose name is holy, who revives the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).
By Elizabeth Gunter, one of the featured speakers at Ruach Journey. Originally posted at The Fathers Business. Used with permission.