Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
The Grass and the Seeds by Kiley
Isaiah 40: 6-8 reminds me of a phrase I wrote above my desk during a particularly difficult season at work: “Even if I am just softening the soil so that someday someone may rest in the shade of a tree.” It gave me great comfort to think that even if I was just flailing around in the dirt, maybe somehow a pocket of earth would open… a seed would fall… a tree would grow… and years down the road, when I was no longer here (or there), someone in need of a moment of peace could rest under its branches.
And when I read this—that we are like grass and our faithfulness the flowers of the field—I feel that same comfort. We are not meant to exist forever. Neither are we meant to remain static. But we ARE the grass that sneaks through the sidewalks and finds its way to the sun. The grass that blankets the earth and softens the steps of the barefoot. The grass that quenches the thirst of those tiny bitty bugs that call it home. And the grass whose flowers of faith WILL fall— not because of some failing on our own part, but because the breath of the Lord blows on upon us.
Faithfulness is meant to be shared. I love the idea of the Lord blowing His breath, scattering the flowers into the wind… and those flowers dropping their seeds into those pockets of earth where all those random people flailed and stomped and hoped for the best.
Lord, may we take comfort in the fact that we are like grass and our faithfulness like the flowers of the field. And may we trust that you are growing each of us exactly how we are meant to be.