Days of Preparation: Week One/Session One.
Theme: God’s Unconditional Love for Me.
Our reading for today: Isaiah 43:1-7.
But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel:
Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end. Isaiah 43:1-4 (MsgB)
Two little words.
Two words so small that they can be easily overlooked when read in the context of the big promises from God. Yet these little two words, “but now” are words that can truly be a game changer for those who’ve gone through the wringer. “But now” indicates that something is changing. Something’s different. “What was” is now gone. “What is to be” is not yet arrived. “But now” means God is acting on our behalf. Right now. Today. This very moment.
“But now” is…
Things were really bad. God is here right now.
Forget what happened yesterday. Focus on today.
Stop fretting about tomorrow. Live in this present moment.
Don’t be afraid any longer. Poppa is here to help.
I was once ignored. God is calling my name.
I was once an orphan. I’m now adopted into God’s big family.
I’ve been in over my head. God is here to rescue me.
I’ve been treading water. The good guys are here to pluck me out of the flood.
I’m stuck by myself between a rock and a hard place. I’m no longer alone. A doorway is opening. An escape plan is being hatched.
So what’s your “but now” story?
If you read my introductory blogs to this series, you know that I’ve had my share of hard-knock stories over the last seven years. Maybe your sad stories go back your whole life. Maybe you’ve rarely had a day when the sun didn’t shine through a dark cloud. But take heart, my friend. God’s just said something very important here.
Welcome, my friend, to God’s “but now”.
My prayer is that over the next thirty-two weeks of walking through these Spiritual Exercises, we will sense a number of true “but now” moments with our Creator King, our Rescuing Father God.
I AM is His name. Not just “I Was”. Nor only “I Will Be.”
But I AM. Today. This very moment.
My prayer: Father God, I’m so thankful for the day You looked at our sad, sad human existence and said, “But now, I will act on their behalf.” Yes, Lord, there is suffering and pain down here, but thank high heaven, that there is always a “but now” when it comes to Your love for Your creation. I thank You for Your “but now.” For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Sometimes we get so caught up in our current pain and suffering, it’s hard to believe in God’s “but now.” What changes do I need to make in my attitude, my mindset, and my actions so I can actually embrace God’s message of “but now” today?
So what is God speaking to you today as we ponder together The Ignatian Adventure?
Over an eight month period, you and I will be working our way through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. For more information on our journey and how to begin…click here!
To go onto the next journal entry…click here.