Stretched Out Still

I don’t know about you, but I love the beginning of a new month. It means new plans, new adventures, and a fresh new start in all areas of life. Alongside the fresh start we get, my favorite thing about starting a new month is simply beginning a new study plan with Scripture. It makes me feel organized, prepared, and ready to go with God each month. Besides, I just love reading new Scripture.

One of the best things about Scripture, in my opinion, is it’s ability to surprise you every time you read. Whether you read something brand new or the same thing for a week, you can take something different away from it each and every time. And lets not forget that there are verses in the Bible that we had no clue existed - then we find them. Scripture verses are like presents. God chooses to give us a little gift through His Word and surprise us with it each time we read. 

I was completing day two of Whole’s December study (which can be found on our mobile app). The chapter of the day was Isaiah 9. It’s a beautiful chapter that corroborates the relationship of Jesus to Israel. A pattern is established starting at verse 8 and continuing through verse 21. Verses 12, 17, and 21 all finish with a tremendous and empowering phrase:

“For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.” While undergoing the wrath of God, people were comforted know that “His hand was stretched out still.” He was still there, despite the trouble they caused.

{ Read Isaiah 9 }

It’s funny because I was actually reading this out loud on the phone with a wonderful brother in Christ of mine. And once I read that phrase, I just gasped and could barely finish the chapter without expressing my wonder. Isn’t it interesting how the Lord can cause one verse to stand out in the crowd of others? It is cool to know that He chooses what to reveal to us based on His timing.

Another amazing thing about Scripture is how timeless it is. Remember, Jesus Christ Himself is the Word. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2) 

Jesus is also the same, yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Therefore, His Word/He stays the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Yes, Isaiah 9 directly applies to those undergoing hardships during that specific time, but it is also meant for the people reading it currently today all around the world. Scripture is meant for all people at any time the Lord wills.

But have you ever felt like you’ve sinned so much that there is no turning back? That you’ve sinned so much against God that He could never forgive you and be there to help you anymore? Well this verse proves put that thought to utter shame. That idea is one of the most popular thoughts the enemy tries to put in our heads to discourage us from moving on with our lives. But we, as predestined children of God, have the glorious privilege of knowing that regardless of all the anger and frustration God may feel from our sin, his hand is still stretched out. It is stretched out still. That word “still” makes the verse. It shows us that we can keep sinning and sinning and His hand will still be stretched out.

It is beautiful to know that we can rest in the fact that God loves us so much that He will be there to help and restore us to fullness and wholeness in His Name - continually. Don’t forget: we are all naturally sinful. Trying to avoid sin is like trying to avoid breath. It happens naturally. The Lord created us that way. But He also created for it be through Him that we find restoration. He hath made it that His hand is always stretched out and open, ready to be our source of help. Wonderful thought, isn’t it?

I encourage you to be content with God as your judge and defender. Rest in the fact that regardless of what you do, He forgives you. His hand will always be stretched and out and ready to rescue, restore, and refine you.