Yeah, you read that correctly. A few days ago, my daily Bible reading brought me to Isaiah 20. The short chapter briefly explains how God commanded Isaiah to take off his burlap clothes and his sandals and walk around naked...for three years. And he did it! Kudos to Isaiah for being so faithful. I can't say I would've agreed to that kind of command.
I've been thinking a lot lately about faith.
We prayerfully considered our move here and felt nudged to take a leap. I accepted my job in Gretna long before Nate was offered his job at Burke, but we had faith that God was nudging us, and so He would provide. But it feels like the minute we moved, things fell apart. Our car broke down, our house sold and then un-sold, the adoption we thought we had in the bag crumpled, and my job has been more difficult and consuming than I anticipated. I've questioned our decision to move a few times this fall. After I read Isaiah 20, I thought to myself: Well, at least I'm not naked.
I'm sure Isaiah's three years of nakedness was a humiliating time. And I'm sure Isaiah probably wondered why God would have him do something so nuts. But, Isaiah writes in verses three through six that this time wasn't without purpose. God's plan wasn't merely to make Isaiah's life difficult; He used Isaiah's humiliation to show Judah that if they put all of their trust in human governments, they would eventually fall to them and experience that same kind of shame Isaiah endured.
The thing is, God has provided for Nate and me. He provided a job for Nate. He provided a temporary place for us to live this summer with godly people until we could get an apartment. And then He provided a renter for our house and an affordable apartment for us. He's led us to a church that's encouraged and challenged us. Though God's plans sometime seem absolutely bananas to us, He is deliberate. God has given us more than we deserve...the least we can do is follow Him in obedience waiting on His perfect timing. God has a purpose for all of our tribulations. He will not waste our suffering, and neither should we. So, my plan this week is to quit sulking. When I'm tempted to whine about my job or sulk about not being parents yet, I'll try to remember Isaiah's faithful obedience to God's command and be thankful that I get to wear clothes while I endure my trials.