Let me put your mind at ease: most of Isaiah has already been fulfilled. He’s not an “end times” prophet it a doomsday way. He predicts the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC, exile, the rise of new kingdoms, the return of exile, and the coming of Jesus! Then, also describes the coming eternal kingdom, which we have already begun to taste, and it is delicious.
For every institution God must tear down, He also rebuilds something glorious. This is an “every man for himself”, women reduced to sex objects, backwards, perverted, idolatrous, dangerous society, which has spiraled in to famine and economic ruin. It is to be burned down and replaced by a new city marked by descriptors such as:
Shelter. Shade. Refuge. Protection.
“In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious.” (4:2)
Have you ever had God take something from you, making you really mad, then get embarrassed when hindsight proves that thing was toxic? I’ve had that happen kind of a lot. My heart really hurriedly attaches to things and people.
Once when I was little, I locked eyes with a teddy bear in Fred Meyer and carried it around the store for the duration of my mom’s shopping trip. In that time, I gave my heart to that bear in a Calvin-and-Hobbs-imagined-lifetime-of-adventure way. When it was time to go, and mom said to put the bear back, I was devastated and started to cry hysterically. This was about to be the deepest tragedy of my young life. My mom eventually caved, to the disapproval of my sisters, and childhood was saved.
I have just begun to realize, I’ve loved like that ever since. But the story usually doesn’t end with a flabbergasted and compassionate mom halting an emotional train wreck. “How do you already love that bear so much??” No, instead I’ve had to mourn seasons and friendships I would have held on to forever if given the power.
Now, as I look back, I am incredibly thankful for all the things God has removed from my clutches. The season of life I’m in now, my career with YWAM, my current friendships and even my singleness, are all things I wouldn’t go back and trade with something I “lost”.
God is so smart about us and the best designs for our lives (it’s like He created us or something). As much as it hurts, I am learning to trust Him when it’s time to give things up.
Is there something you need to let go of? Maybe a refuge awaits you on the other side.