“For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places, He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” Isaiah 51:3
We all have them you know. Places gaping in our soul, where the ache is real, and the barren woman cries.
Seams in our soul, undone, unsewn, falling apart.
Places aching in unanswered prayer. Places that feel abandoned by the God to which we cry.
Places where the cry has gone for so long, that it becomes silent, an ache, a pain, a shut-up cave laid waste to the goodness of God.
A shut-up cave, repulsive to our humanity, but inviting to a Saviour who loves even the ugly and empty places of our soul.
Every ache we suffer, is an ache felt by the Lord? He is not one divorced from the pain.
He cried, the greatest cry of them all “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”.
And isn’t that the cry at the core of every waste place? “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, why is the prayer not answered, why, is this place still barren, take me down from this harsh wooden cross!”
Christ found a way through. The way of sacrifice. The way of yielding to the hard, cold nails of the cross, a way of yielding his spirit in trust to His Father.
Is there any other way than the way of sacrifice & trust?
Is there any other way that screams against our human instinct? Is there any other way than the yielding of our spirit to the one who knows? The one who allows the hard nails of our every-day life to pierce through our soul, knowing it will bring forth life, fertile ground for resurrection life. The one who at times leaves us naked, vulnerable, only to clothe us with more of him. The one who longs to bring life in the waste places.
And it’s those places that go the cross, where life will find its greatest expression of colour and beauty. It’s the waste places when yielded in trust to a loving Father, that become the places laden with His glory, dripping with life, bursting with His provision.
Every aching place, He longs to fill. Every waste place, He longs to comfort. Every wilderness turned to Eden. Every desert a garden.
But, will we go the way He went? Will we follow the way of high trust, the way of self-denial, the way, the only way, where our life becomes less of me and more of Him.
Life is always on the other side of the cross, on the other side of yielding to our heavenly Father, on the other side of saying “Not my will, but your will be done”.
And I look at each of my waste place, and my desperate attempts to fill them, until they become tipping grounds of more waste, and I hear His cry to yield and trust, to turn to life, real life, the source of all life, to tip my waste places into His love and let Him transform them.
I open the door & let the transformer move in and inhabit the waste places of my soul. And let Him plant the seeds of His garden of promise in every gaping wound, every gaping hole and every gaping patch of desolate land.
Then let His words rain and reign on hard and hurting ground until the seeds break open, promises flower & the Lord established His garden of beauty and redemption right there in the waste lands of your soul.
And here I am at the starting quarter of 2018, leaning in to the hard places with you until the time that our wilderness becomes our Eden, our desert the very garden of the Lord.
Kirrily and her husband Tim are the Senior Ministers and Founding Pastors of C3 Church City. Kirrily is passionate about seeing women released into their God-given identity and is known for communicating this through creative, poetic and colourful mediums, using teaching, poetry and fashion to bring full expression to this message. Kirrily is also the author of The Invisible Tree Series for children. She lives in Sydney with their three boys, Samuel, Harrison and Elijah. Instagram: kirrilylowe. Facebook: Kirrily Lowe