Have you ever been in a tight squeeze?
I read something neat about that this morning. I’ve been reading Ephesians lately but I always seem to gravitate to the last 20-something chapters of Isaiah. Broken as I am, I always appreciate the promises of restoration that I find there.
So I flipped to Isaiah again, after completing Ephesians, and read this verse:
Isa 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
Pretty cool. I remembered that in bible school we learned that ‘name’ in Hebrew refers to character. It also denotes a ‘mark of one’s individuality’. When I ponderd this I thought it amazing that the God who knows not only my name but my character (warts and all) would still call me out on a personal and intimate level. I also like the fact that he says I am His, because that is what I want to be.
Further on in the same chapter it says: ‘since thou was precious in my sight’…what a revelation…God thinks I am precious. In Song of Solomon he calls me his fair one, saying I have dove’s eyes. May He always look into my eyes and see the innocence and unabashed adoration of doves’ eyes there.
I digress. I looked up some of the words in the passage I quoted and the word ‘formed’ there spoke to me. It means: ‘to squeeze into shape or mold into a form, especially as a potter would do.’ It carries a sense of purpose to it, and comes from a root word that means ‘to be pressed, be narrowed, be distressed, be straightened, be vexed.’
This is how God forms us, through the pressing and vexing circumstances of life.
I appreciate it that he does this in the midst of our relationship with Him…we never go through it alone…Paul talks of ‘the fellowship of his sufferings’…I have found in all my most difficult moments that his fellowship was near, he was closer than the closest friend. He has never once failed me.
I can go through the tight squeezes of life with joy if I bear in mind that there is purpose in it. I am being formed into his likeness.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him…