Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – November 30, 2014
by Deanna Dennis
Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-9
Historians believe this lament from Isaiah was written after the Israelites returned to Jerusalem. But many Israelites are bitter because they feel their homecoming hasn’t been all that was prophesied.
They face drought, poor crops and enemy tribes. Even the “rebuilt” temple is a disappointment. The priests have simply re-stacked a pile of stones from the old temple ruins to form a structure that in no way rivals the former glory of Solomon’s temple. God has “hidden [God’s] face” from them.
In retrospect, God has done incredible things for the Israelites. God’s greatest promise that he would return them to their land as free people has been fulfilled. But they believe God did it wrong! They have forgotten God’s “awesome deeds.”
I’m just like those Israelites. I’m angry because God doesn’t hear my prayers. I can’t fathom that my will might not be what’s best for me. I forget all God has already done for me. I don’t have faith to believe that God may have a greater plan for me than I can even dream. I am like those newly freed Israelites. I “fade like a leaf” and “don’t call on [H]is name” because God hasn’t given me what I want or deserve.
But I find myself trying, with the same sighing resignation as the author of this passage, to grudgingly admit, “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter…” This is my hope
Prayer: Dear God, so often I doubt you. I ignore all the awesome deeds you’ve done. Thank you for still loving me when I think I know more than you and when I lack faith because of my short-sightedness and lack of gratitude. Thank you for continuing to mold me into something greater than I can imagine. My hope lies in the remembrance that I am continually the work of your hand. Amen.