God always has a pot of milk and honey tea on somewhere in a back room. The fragrance wafted toward me when I was seventeen. I was at a winter camp with my youth group. Late one night, everyone was in groups praying and crying after the message. I didn’t feel like joining a group. Instead I grabbed the Bible underneath the chair next to me (which happened to be a different version than my own) and headed for the stairway. There on those uncarpeted wooden slats I opened unintentionally to Isaiah chapter nine. Verses one and two grabbed me.
“But there will be no gloom for HER that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zeb’ulun and the land of Naph’tali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.” (Revised Standard Version)
I knew I had come to God’s exact words for me at that moment. And I heard Him say, more loudly than ever, “I am bringing this depression to an end.” In my emotional rawness I was equally assured and equally indignant, “Oh yeah!? You have been telling me that for ten years! WHEN? When are you going to bring it to an end!?” With the weight of a large bag of rice dropped from a shopping cart TEN STORIES UP, He said, “SOON.”
Later I read verse two in my own Bible, which was the New International Version, it beautifully says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has DAWNED.”
God called me by name.
It wouldn’t be the last time.
part two coming tomorrow . . .