|I'm 53 today!
I will love this year.
I turn fifty-three today, an age that doesn’t mean much, other than I feel blessed to have such good health at this age. What does appeal to me is that number – it is one that I have admired for years. Isaiah fifty-three is one of the most significant pieces of literature in my life.
Isaiah, an Old Testament prophet, specifically described the Messiah over 700 years before the birth of Jesus. Isaiah’s prophecy was so spot-on that it reads like an account of the sufferings of Jesus on the cross that someone wrote afterward. I remember the first time I heard it – in the living room of our Spiritual mentor’s house. He asked me if it sounded like anyone I knew. I went to bed that night and couldn’t get the chapter out of my mind. How beautiful - that God would use these words to reach my heart.
I am a woman with a gazillion facets that can never be seen all at once, but God knows -and sees-every side of me. I was a woman hell-bent on following my own version of wisdom when God penetrated my heart and injected life into me. I was changed completely by His love and I am constantly amazed at HIS mercy.
I give this gift to you on my birthday –Isaiah 53. Whether you are suffering or victorious, let these words wash over you. Honestly, does this sound like anyone you know?
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.