Reading: Isaiah 64: 5-9
Verse Five: “We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
There are times when we all feel distance from God. Sometimes it is because we are struggling with sin in our life and this separates us for a time. Sometimes it is our own inability to move past the guilt or shame that comes from our sin. We stew init a bit. We feel unworthy of God’s forgiveness so we do not ask for it. And some of the time we want to be near God but it just feels as if He were absent or very distant. We can cause the distance some of the time, but once in a while it is not rooted in us. It just feels like there is some distance between us and God.
In our writing from Isaiah, there is some distance or separation that the people are feeling. Verse five opens with a truth: “You come to the help of those that gladly do right”. This verse may be wishful thinking or it may be a call to get back to doing what is right so that God can again feel present. As verses five through seven unfold, we see that sin has definitely been a part of the separation. Isaiah also admits that “no one calls on the name” of God and that no one “strives” to get a hold of God. There is a complacency also at work here. despite it primarily being their sins that separate them from God, the people still want to blame God. Their logic makes no sense. God cannot be more present. God’s mercy and grace are always available and at work in our lives. God never hides from His children. They are playing the “if only you were here” game with a God who is always there.
The tide begins to turn in verse eight. Isaiah writes, “We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” He is reminding the people that they are indeed in God’s hands and that, even in the midst of feeling like there is separation, God is still at work. Even in the trials, God is shaping us too. Verse nine closes with a plea: “Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people”. God has, is, and always will be looking upon His people. It is a reminder to themselves as much as it is a request of God. At times we too must confess our need for God.
When we feel separation, we must find the root. If it is sin that separates us from God, may we cast that aside, repent, and seek God’s forgiveness. If it is just a feeling, may we seek God with all that we are. When we seek Him, we will find Him. Delve into the Word. Go out and be the hands and feet. Spend time in fervent prayer. Lift your voice in praise. God is present. We will find Him when we seek Him. Amen.