Where?… In the wilderness!
It is in that part of our sacred journey through life that may be the most difficult of all…where He gives us the deepest promises of restoration. The Israelites were freed from bondage and slavery by being wooed into the wilderness – that wild place of transition – on their way to inheriting their Promised Land. On God’s calendar, He intended a 2 year journey of restoration – but their refusal to trust Him made it 40. Still, He kept His promise and they received back their vineyards in time.
During the prophet Isaiah’s lifetime, God’s people were in trouble again. They had deserted God and His ways and found themselves in a generation filled with judgement and mourning. Yet in the middle of consequences for their parents and their own rebellion, God says this about their restoration:
In that day [it will be said of the redeemed], a vineyard beloved and lovely; sing a responsive song to it and about it! I, the Lord, am it’s Keeper; I water it every moment; lest anyone harm it, I guard and keep it night and day. ~ Isaiah 27: 2-3
Three chapters later, we see the desire of this amazing Keeper-God’s heart. Right in the middle of their rebellion, shame and guilt He says, basically, because you are screwing up and will end up empty and broken…
Therefore… the Lord [earnestly] waits [ expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His matchless, unbroken companionship]! ~ Isaiah 30:18
God sees you…as a lovely vineyard, today, and He is your Keeper. He is continually wooing you to trust Him for full restoration. He earnestly waits to show loving-kindness to you. He longs to water you night and day. He is drawing you to a relationship of matchless, unbroken companionship!