In the year that King Uzziah died... I saw the Lord. (Isaiah 6:1)
Grief and brokenness have potential to usher us into the most powerful of worship experiences and revelations from God. In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah grieved. In his grief, He saw the Lord, seated on His throne, still sovereign and reigning over all, and the train of His robe filled the temple with glory.
In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw that the whole earth is full of His glory (6:3)! In grief from death, his eyes were opened to seeing in the spirit another realm that surpassed the one of earth's realities with sand he could feel with his feet and sift with his fingers.
He encountered the true reality of a living God, who reigns in heaven and on earth and under the earth. In His Presence, Isaiah was cleansed, but not just for himself, for his people. Woe is me for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King. The Lord of hosts. (6:5)
In the year that Lynn Erskine died... I saw the Lord, seated on His throne, high and exalted. And the train of His robe filled the temple. He extended His arm, and with a live coal in His hand, He touched my mouth. He extended His sceptre of grace and mercy, calling me into His infinite love, saying See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for (6:7). He crowned me with favor as a daughter of the King, cleansed and healed me. He put a scroll of royal decree in my hands, sealed with the seal of the King of kings, the Lord of Lords, the Almighty sovereign God who reigns in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. He sent me as His representative, to "go for Us" (6:8), to carry forth His decree, with hosts of heavenly armies encamped about me to deliver me. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you. (Jeremiah 1:19).
For you are my witnesses declares the Lord, my people whom I have chosen, that you might know me, believe me, and understand that I am He. (Isaiah 43:10)
I find that I am overwhelmed by the Living God. In His loving kindness, He upholds me in my grief, in my exhaustion, in my questions and concerns, my doubts and unbelief. He ministers to me as a Father to his little child. And still, there is another force moving and sometimes raging in and through me. It is a mighty force of His Spirit that is not of me, that holds great mystery and power.
Isaiah encountered this similar experience of holy calling, of sending, something not of Himself. And it was He who wrote in the revelation of the Holy Spirit, the very words that Jesus would later proclaim... The Spirit of the sovereign Lord, is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor... (Isaiah 61:1) This is His royal decree.
Isaiah was just a man, as I am just a woman (though, I feel much more like just a girl). Though, like many others, he was chosen before his birth, his ministry came forth out of brokenness and grief. In his weakness, he was ushered into his high calling of great strength and power in the Spirit, his eyes were opened to seeing something more than just himself, which has always been the for the same purpose... To bind up the brokenhearted, to set the captives free, to release the prisoners from darkness, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour, and comfort all who mourn... (Is 61...)
My God is mighty and mysterious, and yet He is tender, and my closest Friend. Give me eyes that see You, Lord. Strengthen and protect me that I might serve you well, and be a vessel through which your royal decree is carried out, the words of Isaiah 61 fulfilled, the fullness of salvation in Christ being made known on the earth...