Rock Bottom Isaiah 5:1-7; 11:1-5
Have you ever hit rock bottom? What did that feel like? A friend of mine, Jenny, told me about the time that she hit rock bottom with her drinking. She woke up after drinking all night heavily with a terrible headache, her work calling her wondering where she was, her daughter crying in the other room, and this feeling of dread. It was too much for Jenny. She picked up the beer can on the night stand but it was empty, so Jenny got out of bed and walked past her daughter's room down to the kitchen. In the fridge there was only one beer left, because she had finished off the rets of them the night before. She grabbed it in one hand, and then heard the voice of her mom telling her she was better than this. Automattically the beer came out of the fridge, and she opened it. With the beer at her lips, the cries of Jenny's daughter finally registered. "What am I doing," she thought to herself. "What am I teaching my daughter, that beer is more important than she is." Jenny started to cry as she threw the beer into the sink. She slowly sank to the floor in her kitchen and cried on the floor. "I knew at this point, something had to change because this was not working." she told me.
In our lesson for this week, God tells God's people that this isn't working. They are going to hit rock bottom because of their destructive behavior. The people of Israel are going to experience this rock bottom when they are conquered by the Babylonians and exiled to a foreign country. It is going to be a long hard road for them. However, this isn't the end of their journey but is instead a beginning. Chapter 11 reminds them that there is still hope and that God will not abandon them. God tells them about a Messiah who will come and teach them what it means to love and serve God.
These texts today are a microcosm of Resurrection Theology. That is a fancy way of saying that these texts tell us about how resurrection works in our lives. Once we hit rock bottom and begin to move away from the way we always do things, we begin to experience our new normal. When we listen to God, we begin to live our lives anew. Things are not going to be easy but they are going to be better. Jenny tells me that every time I see her. 20 years she has been sober, it wasn't easy. She had to change and a lot of that change was hard and painfully but Jenny is happier for the change. When we listen to God and begin to walk with God our lives change and we begin to live the lives that God wants us so desperately to live. What do you need God's help this week? What do you need to let go and let God?
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Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!