Text: Isaiah 63:15-19, Isaiah 64:1-12, Isaiah 65:1-25, Matthew 26:20-50
A few nights ago, I threw myself down in my big fluffy chair to read Isaiah 65. It had been a long week with things going “differently” than I’d expected—meaning, EVERYTHING FELL APART. When days like these come to an end, all I know to do is make myself a cup of chai tea with almond milk, diffuse some essential oil that promises to ease all my stress, and sit down, Bible open, to whatever passage someone has encouraged me to read, just hoping it might make a difference in my attitude.
Those nights. You know the ones I’m talking about? The nights when you start spinning, thinking about how things could be going better, how life seems harder than it should be and isn’t exactly what you thought you were signing up for. As I read from Isaiah that night, I talked to God about what I was seeing on the page and how I longed for Him to show up.
Honestly, it’s not that I need Him to fix everything that feels broken in my life. Sure, sometimes I want a quick, easy fix to my problems, but I know what planet I’m living on. I know things here are hardly ever easy and never ever perfect. Jesus said it would be hard, but that He had overcome (John 16:33). Why don’t I remember that verse more often?
Trust me: there are plenty of nights when I just want to turn on Netflix and let episodes of Friends run back-to-back until even the screen seems to ask, “Are you still watching?” But this night was different. I knew I needed the quiet, not the noise or some other distraction. I knew I needed to connect with God, not pull away from Him.
It was a forced behavior, to be sure, but that happens in all relationships, doesn’t it? Moments when you want to isolate, but then you remember the commitment you’ve made, and somehow love leads you back toward relationship instead of running away from it.
So I drank my tea and I read. And there it was: New heaven. New earth. New.
Yes, I thought, I want NEW. I want a world where destruction—of places, of culture, of dreams and hearts and hopes—is barely a distant memory. I don’t know if it was God’s Word, the diffusing oils, or a combination of the two, but my heart started to calm down.
I think that’s what these pages and stories from Scripture are meant to do for the people of God—to remind us of what God is actively doing today and what He’s promised to do when He makes all things new (Isaiah 65:17). He is the One who answers even before we call. He is the One who acts while I’m still asking. He is the One who promises He’s present in any and all circumstances.
On that Tuesday night, before I’d even finished calling on Him, God answered me with peace and connection—with His very presence.
I think that will be the best part of the “new” that’s to come: God’s palpable and pervasive presence, uninterrupted by my sin or attitude or even Netflix. There’s so much about our eternity that is going to be beyond good, but being face to face with the God who hears and sees and answers and loves me completely? That’s the part I look forward to the most.