Updated: Dec 11, 2018
From Isaiah 22:8-11
Someone asked me the other day, “Anything exciting going on this week?” I had to laugh. The order of events may change a little, my daughter may choose a different cereal to eat (or to “accidentally” spill for the dog on the floor), but on the whole, my weeks look the same: work, chores, care for Liv, repeat. If you want to throw in something “exciting,” to me that means a hot bath with no one throwing toys at me, or a chocolate truffle, or an hour in my La-Z-Boy with a fuzzy blanket and a book.
There’s nothing magical about the mundane.
But, I’ve discovered, the mundane can be meaningful. That is, the same old actions done the same old way can be revitalized with great purpose when we add one key thing: faith.
Consider Isaiah 22:8-11. The people of Judah had enemies coming at them from nearly every angle. They wanted to do something, wanted to be as fortified and prepared as possible, so they “tore down houses to strengthen the wall” and “built a reservoir between the two walls” (NIV). Basically, they created a second wall in front of the first and filled the space between with water. Picture a moat.
Yet the bookends of this passage tell the fuller story: “You looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest … you built a reservoir between the two walls … but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago” (vv. 8, 11). As the people focused on weapons and walls, they neglected the One who could supply both. And so, their walls were breached.
Now consider 2 Chronicles 32:1-5. Here, decades earlier, a similar threat had loomed over Judah, and Hezekiah, the king at the time, ordered similar actions to be taken: they “built another wall” and “made large numbers of weapons and shields.” Again, they relied on weapons and walls, but this time, “the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem … he took care of them on every side” (v. 22). What made the difference this first go-around?
Hezekiah was a man of faith (2 Chronicles 31:20).
The people of Judah thought they could repeat Hezekiah’s actions and achieve the same result. They were wrong. No action — no matter how logical or well-proved — could have saved them without being coupled by faith. On the other hand, any action, when combined with faith, becomes powerful, meaningful, supercharged with life (think Ezekiel’s dry bones).
Yes, this includes your daily work. And chores. And caring for your child, or mother, or grandson. What you do every day may not always be exciting (I’m about to go pour some Lucky Charms — cross your fingers for no messes!), but our days can be abundantly meaningful when lived with the Lord.
Next week’s reading: Isaiah 29–39.