“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of these roots” Isaiah 11:1.
Have you ever felt completely at a dead end? Stuck in a relationship, a conflict, or a major that just sucked all the joy out of your soul? Israel felt that, too. The successors of King David had failed to lead the people. Destruction was abundant. War had become a way of life. Few knew the story of Yahweh and even fewer followed the laws of Moses. Justice and peace were a distant, faded memory.
When we utterly lose hope, it is vital to draw strength from those who have walked the road before us. Unlike in Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, when the stump signals the end of life, in God’s narrative, there are ALWAYS new possibilities!
God never gave up on Israel even when they forgot Yahweh. This prophecy from Isaiah reminds us sometimes we need to go back to the very beginning (the tree-stump!) to remember our source of strength and meaning.
This message is excerpted from “Awaiting Immanuel: Four weeks of Advent devotions” by Rebecca Boardman in the December 2019 Café online magazine.
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