Isaiah 54 is the Lord's Sonnet to Israel, but as with most Old Testament writings, there are applications for God's modern Lady, the Church, and personal applications for individual believers.
6The Lord will call you back
as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,
only to be rejected,” says your God.
This verse hit home like a ball of lead in my stomach. I married young. I thought it would be forever. I had no plan B. I was a wife and mother. That’s it. Oh sure, I took some classes and worked here and there, but my life was my family and my family was my life. This was my identity. This was my future. This was the beginning and the end of everything that made me me. And then it was gone. My identity, my financial security, my hopes, my plans, my dreams, my future. Gone. I couldn’t even fight for my share of the marital assets because I was so injured by the rejection. I had become completely dependent on my husband, and when he withdrew his care, I was lost.
The best word to describe my inner world is desolate. In other words, I was barren. My earthly situation mirrored my spiritual situation. I felt completely separated from God. I was unable to pray, except for the anguished cry of my soul in the deep of night, pleading with God to do what I couldn’t and bring me back to Him. And here was my answer. Here was God’s response. Yes. I will draw you back. My earthly marriage was permanently broken. I had unwittingly put more faith in that marriage than I had in God. And that proved to be a devastating mistake.
When the false sense of security was removed through divorce, I began my journey of learning to trust in God. Think of all the things I relied on my husband for: food, clothing, shelter, transportation, social status, purpose, meaning, identity, safety, security, and self-worth. After the divorce, even though I was relying on God and rebuilding my relationship with Him, my ability to trust was severely wounded. Now that I no longer had my husband to rely on, I began relying on myself. I began desperately searching for an identity-for my place in the world. I went to back to school and worked several jobs. That is why I say “I began my journey of learning to trust God,” rather than, “I started trusting God.” This has been a long, long, long road. Not only did I seek to make my own way, I kept looking for another man to take the mantle my ex-husband threw down. With my broken sense of neediness and misdirected trust, each man I brought into my life was worse than the last. Each one left me more emotionally and financially depleted than the last. Each one sent me running back to God, the only One who can truly meet my needs, until finally, with nothing much left but a few clothes and books, I was able to rest in knowing God loves me and will always, always, always take care of me.
God has been drawing me back to himself ever since that initial spiritual crisis when it seemed like the Presence of God had left me. Like the children of Israel, I had to stop relying on other things. For them, it was the horses of Egypt, foreign armies, their own numbers, idols, and eventually their laws and traditions. For me, it was another man, another college degree, another job, house, or car.
Questions for Personal Reflection
In what areas of life have I felt deserted, distressed, or rejected?
How have I sensed God’s intervention in drawing me back?
Thank you that you never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you that you are always drawing us to yourself even when we feel abandoned and rejected. Lord, help us to see and cooperate with the purposes you want to work in our lives instead of going our own way. Draw us back to you in every area of our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Sit in a comfortable place with no distractions. Shift your body so it is well supported. Gently close your eyes and focus on your breath, breathing in slowly and deeply and allowing your muscles to relax as you exhale slowly and fully. Take a few more deep breaths as you become more relaxed and focused.
Imagine yourself fully enveloped in God’s love and protection. You might imagine a safe bubble around you, full of light and color, surrounded by angel warriors, or perhaps sensing God’s hand shielding you. Remember a time when you felt deserted, distressed, or rejected. You can be watching this as if on a movie screen, with you holding the remote control so you can pause, stop, fast forward, or rewind. As you allow the scene to unfold, ask God to show you His healing and protection and how He is bringing restoration to you for all the hurt this situation caused you. Ask Him if there is anything more you still need to learn through this. When you are finished, you can release all the pain and close the curtain on this chapter of your life. If you are not ready to do this, just stop the scene and you can come back to it later. See and feel the Spirit’s cleansing power wash over you and through you, cleansing the wound and anointing it with healing balm. When you are ready, take a couple of deep breaths, wriggle your arms and legs, and let out a big sigh, and now you are ready to write down what you learned and what action steps, if any, you need to take.
Take a few minutes to write about your meditation experience. Is there anyone you need to forgive? Are there areas where you need to trust God more? Are you available for God to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him? If not, what is stopping you?