Christmastime Day Ten
January 4, 2019
By Elaine Friedrich
Written by Lane Clark Friel
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” -Isaiah 6:1-5
It is no coincidence that I was assigned the beginning of Isaiah 6. God had gone ahead of Elaine who asked me to write this devotion. Hours earlier, I was lost in thought… and this very scripture crossed my mind.
Let me elaborate on this rarity. I’d recently had a sweet conversation about God as our loving Father, and the vision of playing in the hems of His robes. As you read the passage, God’s hems filled the entire temple. What a joyful notion to be like a child, relishing in your Father’s presence, laughing and playing. How beautiful! As His children, God permits us times to rest, relax, and bask in His glory – to dwell in His shadow – and enjoy Him. He is our Father!
Later, following an extended time of prayer I excitedly went back to Isaiah 6. And there was an unmistakable meaning the Holy Spirit revealed to me! It began with God being high and exalted. I was nearly brought to tears because I felt connected with Isaiah. I felt small and unworthy as I read that the foundations shook and smoke filled the temple when He spoke. I was in awe of the greatness of my Father.
You see, I have carried around a great amount of pride in my life. When I am not walking with God and I pass a mirror, I tend to look in it. When I receive a compliment, my head gets big. I am a people pleaser by nature in order to gain favor in others’ eyes, and I tend to lift myself up and not God. Oh, I humble myself – I have to, over and over again – but my pride comes back if I quit praying.
Can you imagine being permitted a glimpse of the Almighty on His throne after a life of exalting yourself? Leading up to the time I prayed on this scripture, there was absolutely a block in my prayer life – not only a lack of prayers, but the discontented feeling of not breaking through, the sense that I was a resounding gong. For me, this corresponds with Isaiah’s unclean lips.
In the middle of writing this, my 4- and 6-year-old daughters wanted to snuggle, which is a rarity for them to ask together. Their sweet request caught my attention. Instead of asking them to wait, I was attuned to God’s priorities, which required me to stop and humble myself from my “super important work.” So I did, and we snuggled and read books. The same thing happened the next day when my 2-year-old son started crying from his crib the very second I picked up the computer.
Are you getting where this is going? This Advent and Christmastime season, remember how big God is! Yet He permits us to come to Him! Who are we to not allow others the same? Who needs to just enjoy your presence? As you pray on this, imagine yourself in Isaiah’s shoes as he took in God. May you behold God’s glory as we begin the New Year!