Friday, December 16, 2016

Isaiah 57:20 -- On Pollution and Peace

"But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."
Isaiah 57:20

There are some things in life that we just can't understand or sometimes even perceive unless we are at peace.  We're so distracted/obsessed/troubled with whatever is going on in our heads and hearts that we stir things up around us and we can't perceive other things... sometimes it is hard to focus even on the people closest to us.  It is also very difficult to communicate with God unless we take time to calm our minds and find some focus outside of our own worries or desires.  I think that is the point that Isaiah is making here, comparing the wicked to the storms and pollution of a troubled sea.

God tells us that there is no peace to the wicked in the very next verse, and I think that shows us that, even more than normal anxiety and stress, when we sin we confuse, darken, and blur our lives until we can't see anything clearly.  And really serious sins are kind of like the combination of a Tsunami and a giant offshore oil spill, right?  Mire and dirt, and destruction and death instead of life.  We find ourselves harming our own souls.

When we realize what a mess we are making of our lives, God gives us the chance to recover from even our worst wickedness, but it can't happen without some dedication to cleaning up our minds and our hearts, and ensuring that another similar disaster won't happen.  It takes time to change sinful habits, or to work to heal harm that we have caused... but just like we can rebuild after a terrible storm, and clean up after an oil spill, with God's help, life can start looking normal again, and we can find peace.

Today, let's let go of the sins and distractions that are pulling us away from peace.  Let's take the time to stop and talk to God about where we are in life, and where we want to get, with his help.  Let's take the path to peace, whether it is the first few steps back, or whether we are well in.  No matter where we are, the most important thing is to make sure we're traveling in the right direction--towards God rather than away from him.

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