The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, Janurary 16, 2024, was written by Hadassah Treu of Pazardzihk, Bulgaria.
7 Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. 8 Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor she delivered her children. 9 Shall I open the womb and not deliver? Says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? says your God. 10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her — 11 that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom. 12 For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. 13 As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 66:7-13 NRSV
One dark, frosty morning my mother called and asked me to come help her and my father because she was experiencing dizziness and vomiting. When I heard her feeble voice, my stomach turned into a knot, my hands started sweating, and I felt my heartbeat in my throat. I had lost my husband the year before and had experienced multiple difficult life changes, so I was already feeling vulnerable and distressed. I thought, God, my life is hard enough without having to handle one more crisis. I felt as if God had abandoned me.
When I came home after an exhausting day with my parents, I opened by Bible. God spoke to me through Isaiah 66:13. In this chapter, the Lord spoke to the Isrealites, ensuring them that God had not abandoned them and offering them comfort and hope for the restoration of Jerusalem.
God longs to comfort us. In our most difficult moments, God whispers words of peace, love, comfort and encouragement to our souls. When I was deeply distressed, God brought comfort to my heart, heard my prayers, and gave me strength to help my parents. Our good God desires our well-being and is ready to extend comfort and peace anytime.
Thought for the Day
I will ask for and receive God's comfort today.
Dear Lord, we come to you asking for your comfort and peace. Comfort us as a mother comforts her child. Ease our pain and fill our hearts with encouragement. Amen.