I have often both pondered over this verse, and found encouragement from it. As I read it again this morning, I found myself wondering what it really means, both in its context and for us today.

I find that the context is that God is speaking to Israel as his wife, telling her that she will be delivered from bondage and be made whole again.1

In other words, he says that he has seen her labor pains of grief and they will bring forth joy. Even though she has waited a long time to give birth, when it finally comes, it will be better than a physical husband and children.

As I think about that interpretation, I realize I don’t even need to say any more about what it means for us today. I think the best place to start is what it means to me. For me, I take it literally. As a middle-aged single woman, I know what it is like to feel desolate. At times I dread going home to an empty house and I went through a season where I wanted to be a mom so bad I could hardly stand it. I have often wondered why God hasn’t answered my prayers, and I hope that one day he will, but this Scripture reminds me that no matter what my earthly circumstances are, I have a spiritual husband in Jesus, and children that come to birth spiritually by prayer and trust in him.

As autumn approaches, I think of what it means. Autumn means winter is coming; it’s a death of field and flower, a resting, a waiting for the seasons of spring and summer. We all have autumns in our lives, times where we wonder where God is, times when we need to die to self so that his Spirit can make us new. And yet, in that autumn period, in that time of waiting, is an abundant harvest. Our Father knows that these times of testing produce more fruit than the times of prosperity and blessing.

And as I embrace that figurative Autumn child, I know that God is good. And it is all worth it.

Dear Father, thank you. Thank you so much for this time of year, which reminds me of all you have done and of your working in my life. Help me to see your hand at work and to embrace you as everything I need, for now and for eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Throughout this Day: Here is an art journaling page you might find inspiring: http://www.carmenwhitehead.com/thankful-art-journal-page/

  1. David Guzik, Enduring word commentary 2021

Tags: A God-Focused Life Daily Devotional Isaiah 54
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