Sometimes reality is hard to deal with. The warnings were there. The outcomes could and should have been anticipated. Prevention was the answer, but who knows the answer? Even the obvious sometimes isn’t.
Take a story of old which could just as easily be, at least metaphorically, any day out of my life during the past few weeks. “God said, ‘Just as my servant Isaiah has walked around town naked and barefooted for three years as a warning sign to Egypt and Ethiopia, so the king of Assyria is going to come and take the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles. He'll take young and old alike and march them out of there naked and barefooted, exposed to mockery and jeers—the bared buttocks of Egypt on parade! Everyone who has put hope in Ethiopia and expected help from Egypt will be thrown into confusion. Everyone who lives along this coast will say, ‘Look at them! Naked and barefooted, shuffling off to exile! And we thought they were our best hope, that they'd rescue us from the king of Assyria. Now what's going to happen to us?
How are we going to get out of this?’’” (Isaiah 20.3-6)
Great question; do you have an answer?
I don’t know how I ended up in this state. Life’s warnings, then, now, are clear. Trusting the god within, self will not work. Trusting the gods around me isn’t the answer. Trusting the God who shows us the path is. Who is this God?
This God is described by the impact on our community and the people within. Words like compassion, mercy, helping the helpless, belonging, and family are actions which make your steps and mine different. They redefine our world, and in time everyone in it. This God is the answer to the warning. This God is the outcome we long to know. God’s Spirit is the prevention which changes everything we see, sense, and know.
The invitation to God’s community is open to one and all. This is the way out and in.
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