From Isaiah 43:4, we hear God say, “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you and nations in exchange for your life.” Verse 5 continues, “Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring back your offspring, from the west I will gather you.” I heard the beginning of verse 4 read on the radio this morning, by a priest who was leading some type of retreat somewhere in the Tampa, Florida area today. Anyway, as I heard it read, I was motivated to spend some time in the chapel reading the rest of it, after our normal morning prayer with a few fellow parishioners. So, I read it and started to realize that God really loves me, which is awesome, but that God has given people in return for me sounded pretty amazing. As I sat there and finished the Office of Readings that I wasn’t able to get to at home this morning, this was really all I got. However, as I drove home I realized that there are people who have come before me that have been offered by God in exchange for my life. I don’t think that my being here on earth has more value than those that were offered for me. Rather that I am so precious to God that he would do this for me, made me stop the car for a moment and contemplate the awesome responsibility this puts on my shoulders to live out my faith more fully.
As I read the fifth verse of the 43rd chapter of Isaiah, before I copied it on to this post, I realized that God reminds me not to fear this awesome responsibility. I should know that he feels the same way about all of his children and anyone who realizes the truth of God’s love for them. He will be faithful to bring them back from wherever they may have wandered. My hope, as always, is for everyone who reads this today will be brought to a greater understanding of God’s love for them and thereby want to join me in the daily battle against sin in our own lives and in the whole world. We can partner with God in dispelling evil with the good works we do in spreading His good news and … Prayer-Fasting-Almsgiving, not just a Lenten observance…Keep the faith!