“Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David”. (Isaiah 55:3, NAS95)
I love pondering covenant: faithfulness to relationship. The preceding context to this verse speaks of a calling to repentance (without those words), but to come and listen to God for what satisfies. I see this as a phenomenal invitation to return to God. I also understand it as an incredible call to realign my thinking about God to the way God thinks about Himself. What do I think of the goodness of God? What does my life with God say? How have I recognized or experienced His interactions?
Over a year ago, I laid my dad to rest. I also conducted his funeral. In that time, God spoke to me. My father was an alcoholic, sober for close the 30 years, but my home life memories read like a collection of the crazies, especially emotionally. I thought normal, normal for anyone, looked like this.
As I prepared the funeral, God spoke. My dad became a gift, something God gave me. Someone, over whom, I was now shedding tears. In the middle of that, God showed me, my home formation set the trajectory of my transformation in Christ. My childhood, my family, my dad, the craziness, was a gift. God opened up facets of His character I would never have seen or have been exposed to apart from formation in my family of origin.
I was not prepared for what I felt. My heart for my dad grew, and the tears came, but the overwhelming sense that came concerned my deep experience of God’s goodness in those moments. God continued to speak, forming and shaping an understanding of the life He gave me through my dad, that could only come from One who loves and loves deeply. Flashing before my eyes were stories of how God has re-imaged Himself through my experience in Christ that simply delight. Seeing God in this way deeply satisfies.
God called me to Himself through Christ during the most tumultuous time in my life. There He began a transformation that started with my home formation. He transformed what twisted me most, and that concerned how I understood Him. That untwisting of the image of God that I carried with me happened over time, by listening to Him, inclining my ear to Him. He realigned my image of Him more closely to who He really is. God proves Himself deeply faithful to relationship: Covenant! It feels very much like life!
What are the most poignant stories of God’s faithfulness to you?
What would happen if you did a prayerful review of your life with God? What would He show you?