Thought for the Week - 14th March

Pastor Gareth Watkins

Isaiah 38: 1-5

“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.’’

The current pandemic has highlighted to many of us just how fragile we are. Most of us to varying degrees were somewhat detached or desensitised from natural disasters and outbreaks of disease amid the constant media coverage of every disaster around globe. The world in its fallen state will continue to be in turmoil, and we in our fallen condition are ill-equipped to cope in our own strength; we truly are ‘unstable in all our ways’. How we react in the face of devastation matters, there are many accounts in the bible of some of the great men and women of God who faced terrible difficulty. As Christians we are certainly not immune, but we don’t have to react in a way that further fuels the destruction of ourselves or others with rippling effect. When Hezekiah was facing what seemed like certain death, God’s instruction to him was ‘put your house in order’. Now I don’t think this is just a matter of possessions and papers, though important as that is, but also the putting right the house of the Lord in our heart. Is it not our state of heart that will come before Christ’s judgement as we enter eternity? We have seen the miraculous healing power of God at work many times, but God doesn’t always heal, and death in the world comes to us all. In the wake of the devastating news, Hezekiah didn’t get angry, run away, seek to blame or sink into a pit of despair, he ‘turned his face to the wall and cried out to the Lord’. He instantly set his eyes on God alone, prayed from the depths of his being and wept bitterly. God heard his cries and He hears ours. Whatever difficulty you find yourself in, no matter how bleak or devastating, let your reaction be one that turns to the God who hears your every thought and heartbreak. Turn with a right heart having put your house in order, and be ready for whatever His will is for you. This is all but a moment compared to glorious eternity in heaven where God has already prepared a place for each of us.
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