“Though Zion is in ruins, the Lord will bring comfort,
and the city will be as lovely as the garden of Eden.
Then Zion will celebrate; it will give thanks and sing joyful songs.”
— from Isaiah 51:3
Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:
- Part of Isaiah 51 is titled “The Lord Will Bring Comfort.” In theology, God may be called Comforter or Giver of Solace.
- While Zion is a place in ancient Jerusalem, here it can serve as a metaphor for our current life experience. Eden can represent our ideal situation, or at least one of greater comfort than we’re experiencing now.
- When we feel comforted, we have a renewed sense of well-being and relief from grief, pain or stress. We also may feel comfort and relief when we accept a situation (even one we don’t particularly like) in our lives.
- Which aspects of my life, if any, seem to be in ruins?
- List whatever comes to mind, no matter how big or small. Anything from a messy closet, to a health challenge, to a job loss counts.
- What can be restored, repaired, or repurposed from these ruins? What cannot?
- Make one (1) list for each.
- When I consider my lists, what can I do of my human self to change the circumstance or situation? What must I relinquish to God? Am I fighting what is or forcing my way? Or am I grieving a past that can no longer be?
- Am I willing to be thankful for what was? What can I celebrate from my experience?
- Make two (2) lists: one (1) for gratitude and one (1) for celebrations, achievements, and/or accomplishments.
- Knowing that God is in the midst of every aspect of my life, even a part that seems ruined, what are at least three (3) things I can do to bring joy into my life every day?
- Make a list and schedule something joyful in your planner or calendar daily.
Give yourself as much time and space as you need to process the text, questions, and your feelings, as you allow new divine ideas, opportunities, and activities to unfold.