Isaiah 64:1-4, Expect
By Joy Miller
In this passage, we see the Israelites are calling on God to be present with them. They ask him to tear open the very heavens and come down until both nations and mountains tremble at his presence. They are expecting God to show up in some big ways.
This all seems pretty bold. How can they expect this much? Now let’s pause to be clear on what we should and should not expect from God. God is not a genie who grants wishes. The gift he brings can not be earned by being on the ‘good list’ for the year. God is something altogether different and brings us something that can’t be made to fit into any box.
The gift God gives is that of his presence. The presence of God is something quite different from other gifts. It’s hard to get our minds, let alone our words, around it. After all, no ear has perceived and no eye has seen anything like God.
Now, just why do the Israelites expect God to be with them when they ask? They might think that God will be present with them because they have scriptures that are filled with stories of God. They might expect him because they see God’s faithfulness in their community. They might even have personal experiences in their own lives, which causes them to expect God.
Come to think of it, this sounds a lot like me. I want God to show up in my life in a big way. I don’t know exactly how that will happen or what it will look like. The stories I read in scripture are full of tails of God. I have the history of my tradition and community reflect God’s love. I have my own experience with God. I bet that even I, who has certainly not been good for the whole year, can ask God to show up in my life. I bet that you can, too. I expect God will be there.