Go Out In Joy And Be Led By Peace

Explore how God meets us in our hardest moments with His unending mercy. Be led by peace in all you’re walking through.

As I write this, the calendar has just clicked over the March first. It is a new day and month, and soon, we will welcome the spring season. I live in Tennessee, and after a long winter, I look forward to the first couple of warm days in February. Like clockwork, seemingly out of nowhere, these bright yellow daffodils leap out of the ground. I learned this year that they are affectionately named the February Golds.

This year’s bloom has brought me to tears on several occasions. I’m not sure if more have bloomed, or I am just more desperate for springtime, but either way, I have found myself in awe of our God, who is still on the throne regardless of our seasons. One day recently, I was out with my seven-year-old daughter, and she insisted we hunt for patches of these delightful little flowers. That was an invitation I could not resist.

My daughter has no idea, but in that moment, she was a tangible reminder of an invitation from the Lord to come to him. One of my favorite chapters of the Bible comes is Isaiah 55. The chapter begins with five powerful words, “Come, everyone who is thirsty. . .”

I remember vividly one moment reading through this particular chapter of the Bible. I was 38 years old, and that year of my life was one in which I was experiencing some significant healing in areas I desperately needed. During that time, I was working through a specific wound from my past. God was so kind in this season to take me through a journey to heal that wound and reveal to me the things I needed to lay down to find a more abundant life.

One verse often misquoted in the Bible comes from this same chapter.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

“For as heaven is higher than earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

(Isaiah 55:8-9)

I know I have heard these verses in the past, and immediately, my mind jumped to the mystery of the Lord. That is not what these verses are talking about, however. Not precisely, anyway. They hold in them a mystery about something but not in the way we would think.

At the beginning of the chapter, we receive this powerful invitation to come to the Lord — an invitation open to all. The only requirement is that we are thirsty for His presence. This invitation from God to come to Him invites us into His unwavering, undeserved mercy—which may be the greatest mystery of all. God’s mercy is beyond our comprehension sometimes, isn’t it?

Before the often quoted verses, God calls us to come in very close, listen, consider our sins, and practice repentance. He makes it clear that He meets us with compassion in this process. I know I have experienced that in ways in my own life, and you have, too.

What happens after this is perhaps one of the more beautiful word pictures of abundance in the Bible. This chapter ends with these verses.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.”

Isaiah 55:12-13

I think back to that day with my daughter and our hunt for the February Golds. The hills of Tennessee, which had laid dormant in the winter months, were literally bursting into song right before our eyes. To experience that joy with my daughter was perhaps the clearest picture of abundance I have seen in a while.

God’s ways are higher than ours, indeed. He is full of grace and rich in mercy. His invitation to us is wide open. He invites us to come. The only requirement is that we are thirsty.

In His Word

When you think about the higher ways of God, as explained in this chapter, what are the ways God has met you profoundly with his unending mercy?

In Your Life

Ask God one way you can extend mercy to one specific person in the same way he has shown you mercy.

We Recommend

The topic of mercy and forgiveness go hand in hand. We recommend “Total Forgiveness” by R.T. Kendall. This book offers profound insight into the heart of God. It explores the ways that God totally forgives us and how, in turn, we can work to forgive others.

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Julie writes on Substack under the name Evergreen. She also posted regular photos and stories on Instagram.