The Sign of Immanuel

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:10-14

We sit in the coffee house and talk about her marriage. I suggest that she pray about the slow demise that is now becoming undeniable. I look across the small table, and she shakes her head.

“I couldn’t ask God about this. There are so many other terrible things in the world God should be more concerned about than me. Children starving in Africa and people who can’t go outside because of wars being fought in the streets. I don’t think it’s right that I push to the front of the line to talk about my marital troubles!”

She laughs it off.

“Well, that’s assuming there is a line,” I say. “That’s assuming God is a busy man behind a desk and we’re taking numbers, waiting for our turn to talk to an overwhelmed worker with too much on his plate. I don’t think that’s who God is.”

So many times our minds confine God into a box and we, like Ahaz, believe we can put him out, trouble him beyond what we really need to. So often we make God into nothing more than a reflection of ourselves. We decide he is able to take on only so much, even when God Himself is the one asking us what we need.

“Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

We would be wise to instead know that God waits to prove himself able. That God is not a man, but God, able to hear my prayer request and yours and ten thousand besides and still not be exhausted. We would be wise to stop trying the patience of God and receive the miracles that we assume he is too busy to accomplish. It is his ability to answer every prayer that makes him God. That is who has called us to be his own.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Where in your own life have you limited God’s ability or willingness to answer your prayers? How in the past has God superseded your unbelief and answered you with Christ himself? Do you believe he can do it again?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for seeing past our pious reluctance and giving us yourself. Help us today to take you at your word. Help us, by your Holy Spirit, to believe that you long to prove that you are able. Help us to ask for our heart’s desire. Amen.

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