MCC Brissie Devotional Scripture in my Life – When the weight lifted off my shoulders

Isaiah 52:7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

The scripture reading from the book of Isaiah talks about ‘how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news’.

Have you ever waited a long time to hear something really important? Like that phone call that tells you, you got the job. That email which tells you loan approved or application accepted. I even find it exciting when the postie arrives and how fun it is to walk out to the letterbox and open up a letter.

It’s a such a relief, like a weight lifted off your shoulders when you get good news that you’ve been waiting a long time for, when things could have very easily gone the other way.

That’s what the people of Israel felt in Isaiah 52. They had been waiting so long for their suffering to end that they were wondering if God really cared in the first place. We can feel like that sometimes. The suffering seems so long and prolonged we ask, where is God?

In the Bible mountains are often the places where God makes promises to God’s servants. Moses, Elijah, Micah and many more prophets of the Bible were given good news on mountains. Mountains represent those times in our lives where all the mundane is stripped away and we feel a keen sense that something big is going to happen, that God is going to move powerfully in our lives. For most people those moments don’t happen often, where you feel you are in this space where heaven touches earth.

I remember the time I truly felt happy in a single instant when my whole life changed. I remember the first time I walked into a room in Sydney with other LGBT Christians. Seeing the faces of people who had been through exactly what I had been through, the years of internal struggle, the years of fearing Gods rejection, the years of feeling all love had gone out of my life, the years of trying to understand what the Bible really said, all the struggle and heart ache that I felt I was experiencing alone all came crashing down on this one single moment. I walked into that room in Sydney, and it all melted away because I knew I wasn’t alone anymore. The sense of conflict, the sense of fear of rejection…gone.

A new world opened up before me.

Just like the Israelites who waited so long for their Salvation, when I walked across that mountain of self doubt and trusted God that God would never reject me, the fear that was holding me back melted away.

I came out that day back in 2008 at the age of 19 to my friends and church. I found new friends who accepted me just as I am in MCC Sydney.

Truly in that moment the feet of the messenger looked beautiful that night. That’s the kind of happiness that I look for in my walk with the God. The happiness of walking the journey of life and looking back at those moments of pure joy when God delivered me from pain and darkness.

It was the same kind of joy I saw when the results of the Same Sex Marriage survey were read out. After such a brutal, protracted process of the vote being conducted, how beautiful were the feet of the messenger who brought good news that day.

I pray that your faith would look for those thin places, those places of utter joy and deliverance from pain, where God lead you through the tough times. Those moments in our faith are sacred. They give us resilience, strength and above all trust in God’s power to carry us through the tough times.

Find some time today to say a word of thanks for those moments where the boundaries of Heaven and Earth disappear, and the joy of the Lord invades your soul when you have the knowledge that God has brought you through.

Amen.