(1) I was available to those who didn’t ask,
I was ready to be found by those who weren’t looking.
I said, “Look! Look! I’m here!” to a nation that didn’t call on my name.
(2) I stretched out my hands all day to a rebellious people,
Who walked in a path that wasn’t good, following their plans. — Isaiah 65:1-2
If you ask most Christians, I think, you will find that their questions deal with where God is and how they can find him. How can I get answers to my prayers? How can I get God to act in my life?
That’s the human view of the major problem in our relationship with God. We think the heavens are as brass, and God has hidden his face. God doesn’t make himself available to us.
But Isaiah is letting us in on a different viewâ€”how it looks from where God sits! There it is not a problem of the availability of God, but of the availability of people. He’s there waiting, even when his people aren’t asking. He’s ready to be found, even when people aren’t looking.
When I read the third line of verse 1 and the first line of verse 2, I got the picture, possibly a bit irreverent, of a child who wants his parents’ attention, and jumps up and down yelling, â€œLook at me! Look at me!â€ Is that something like God feels when his creatures don’t pay attention? If you think I’m diminishing God too much through that picture, just remember that we’re coming up on Easter, and God diminished himself all the way out of heaven and onto earth, precisely so that he could get our attention. Is he waving his hands, yelling, â€œLook at me! Look at me!â€ while nobody watches?
But God isn’t doing this to bring attention to himself. He’s doing it because we’re missing the road. He’s like a man yelling at someone who is about to run over a precipice, but they don’t want to be distracted from their running. â€œLook here! Look here!â€ he yells, but they ignore him, not wanting to be drawn off their agenda. Then the edge comes, and their moving too fast to stop.
I heard a sermon by an evangelist who told the story of an accident on an icy day on the highway around London. There was a pileup, and people were continuing to drive too fast in the fog. The police at first watched, used their lights and sirens, but the drivers simply drove by, and soon after there would be the inevitable crash as another car was added to the pileup ahead. The police even took boots and threw them at the cars, but people just kept on driving.
Is that the situation in your life? Is God desperately trying to get your attention to warn you about how your plans aren’t going to work, but he has better ones? Maybe you think you’re looking for God, but you’re doing it in all the wrong places.
How about just stopping, looking around, and asking, â€œLord, where are you? Let me see you stretching out your hands to me. I’m ready to change course.â€