In the past I have been known to have some serious sleep issues. Anxiety is usually the culprit… worry, fear, etc. etc.. In the last several months, however, I’ve noticed a healing taking place in that area. It use to be that I could go for a couple nights without getting any sleep at all, and now for the last several months I rarely have one night where I am having trouble falling asleep. The Lord has restored a peace to me that I haven’t had since elementary school! It’s quite amazing, actually.
Unfortunately, last night that same enemy of insomnia crept up on me again. I was worried… again. I was distressed about friends that were struggling with addiction and despair. I was wrestling fear issues in my own heart. Hopelessness started to set in a little bit and the tossing and turning continued. In desperation for some sleep I asked the Lord for help. Please Jesus… I have GOT to get some sleep! It was a scene that was all too familiar as I tried to examine my heart… repent for my fear, worry, or anything else that I might be allowing to rob me of my sleep.
And then He started speaking this passage to me in Isaiah:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called mighty oaks,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
I have heard this passage taken out of context and people attribute portions of it to themselves. I have to admit, when I started to hear Him speak to me that passage at around midnight, I thought maybe He was telling me what I was suppose to do… but instead He was telling me who HE WAS. This is a prophecy about the Jewish Messiah, not about the ones He came to save. My immediate reaction was… “okay! I’m in, God! Let’s do it!” But what He was really saying to me was… “when are you going to start believing that this is who I am? That I’m the only one what can heal the brokenhearted, turn broken men into mighty oaks, set people dancing who were once in despair? When are you going to let Me be that in Your life? When are you going to start believing that I am who I say I AM in the lives of your friends?”