"For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff [every kind of prop], the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water."
- Isaiah 3:1 AMP
I had heard the verse above many times over the years, but about a year or so ago, it began to take on a new meaning for me. My husband, Joe, had lost his job when his company moved across the country. After several months of fruitless job searching, he suffered a major heart attack. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, and resources which had taken us years to gain began to dwindle away before our very eyes. I think the thing that bewildered me the most was the fact that just the year before, the Lord had blessed me with incredible rewards and promotions as a result of my ministry work. Doors seemed to be opening everywhere, and it looked like all of my years of hard work were finally going to pay off. Now doors were closing, and it seemed like every source of support was drying up and disappearing. When I sought the Lord about it, I sensed Him speaking to my heart, "I'm taking away all of the props in your life." (Isaiah 3:1 AMP) What did the Lord mean by "props"? The NIV translation of this verse defines them as "supply and support." Whatever it was that my husband and I were depending upon--other than God--was being shaken and taken from our lives.
King David could relate to what I was going through. The Lord called him "a man after My own heart" (Acts 13:22), but there was a time when he was tempted to find his security in his wealth, position, and military might, instead of in God. His words in Psalm 30 reveal how the Lord had to deal with his misplaced trust. "In my prosperity I said, 'This is forever; nothing can stop me now! The Lord has shown me His favor. He has made me steady as a mountain.' Then, Lord, You turned Your face away from me and cut off Your river of blessings. Suddenly my courage was gone; I was terrified and panic-stricken." (Psalm 30:6-7 TLB) We can experience times of promotion, increase, and blessing, and then have everything taken away from us in an instant. There may be times when God will strip away everything we have learned to rely on--our jobs, our finances, our talents, or other people. Because the Lord wants us to make Him our Source, and Him alone, we will experience times of testing. How we respond to these tests will help determine how much God can bless us and use us in the future. We know that David's response to his troubles was the proper one, because he writes in the same psalm that the Lord eventually "turned [his] mourning into joyful dancing." (Psalm 30:11 NLT)
Sometimes, we don't realize how much we were depending on something or someone until it's taken away. In times of loss and suffering, we must discover that when all is said and done, Jesus is all we really need. Scripture says: "Fear of the Lord gives life, security, and protection from harm." (Proverbs 19:23 NLT) Only our reverence and love for God--and our complete reliance upon Him--can offer us true security in this uncertain world. What is it that you are depending upon today?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that I have found my security in my job, my finances, or other people, instead of You. Deliver me from every false sense of security, and help me to serve You with wholehearted devotion from now on. Thank You that as I make You my one true Source, I will have everything I need to live the abundant, fruitful, purposeful life that You've called me to!
- J. M. Farro