March 29th, 2010
By Pat Swartzendruber, EMU volunteer
Read: Isaiah 50: 4 – 9
“Out of the night that covers me, I’m unafraid, I believe. Beyond this place of wrath and tears, beyond the hours that turn to years….9,000 days were set aside; 9,000 days of destiny…” are moving lyrics of Nelson Mandela’s captivity from the movie, Invictus, Clint Eastwood and Rob Lorenz, producers.
Isaiah 50, vs.4 – 9 tells of an ancient captivity and One speaking words to sustain the weary assuring a generation of prisoners of war, “It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me”, vs. 9. This once thriving community, taken against their will into captivity and mistreated for more than 50 years, are now free but without strength to accept it. Those who have been confined, whether physical or psychological, and find freedom will recognize the weariness of rebuilding. This One, the Suffering Servant, to be spoken about more fully in Isaiah 53, is ready to empathize.
Many obstacles are in the way of continuing life after experiences that traumatize or cause heartbreak. Among them is shame, impinging on self-worth and holding one captive even after being freed. Knowing its power, the Suffering Servant empathizes, “I will not be disgraced. I have set my face like flint and I know I will not be put to shame” vs. 7.
What is in store for them? Can they find their way? What shall they do? When anxious thoughts are swirling, the Suffering Servant affirms, “He wakens me morning by morning; wakens my ear to listen like one being taught” vs 4. Daily meditation, a powerful Word to guide one’s thoughts and let go of fear, may be a path to healing. Whatever our captivity, whatever our situation, salvation has been issued; a Suffering Servant is our liberator and our helper.