“And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.’ And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” (Isaiah 6:5-8, ESV).
Isaiah 6:5-8 has long been a favorite passage of mine. As someone who has had difficulty controlling his tongue, I have found comfort in the thought that, though I struggle with speaking wrongly, God can redeem not only me, but also the trapdoor that is my mouth.
In many ways, writing this blog five days a week for nearly two years now has really served to teach me the power of words in a way that not even humiliation and regret have been able to do. I have learned—check that—I am learning to submit the words I speak to God before I let them out into the world. It’s a daily struggle that will likely not find resolution until I stand before the King.
Another thing I see in Isaiah 6:5-8 is that God can take someone with less than “clean” speech and make them useful. For many years I have questioned whether God could take the mess I have made of my life and make something beautiful from it. I’ve wondered if my failure to submit to God’s gentle prodding through many dark years would disqualify me from the call to minister to God’s people.
But God has given me a voice through this blog. I have heard from a few faithful readers that God has spoken to them through this blog—thank you for your wonderfully encouraging comments! I’ve learned that I can still minister God’s grace to others, and learn and grow personally along the way.
God has redeemed my unclean lips. He has touched me with fiery coal from the altar and called me to write. Someday He may choose to use me in a different manner, but until He does I will write.
Recently I attempted to make a change to the format of this blog. I wanted to use some of the time that I spend on this blog (roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours daily) reading, researching, and praying, writing shorter posts. The change didn’t have the desired effect. I still wrote posts of the same length; and I still couldn’t find the time to refill my tank.
I am committed to delivering my best to you as an offering to my Savior. In order to do that I need to spend more time with Him and less time with the “easy part” of writing. I committed to posting every week day to force me to write. It certainly did that. I’ve learned that my writing matters. I’ve learned that when push comes to shove I can write.
And write I will! I am, however, going to back down to one post per week. This decision was not made hastily; I’ve wrestled with it for some time now. I will be posting every Tuesday. I look forward to more time with Jesus, and to serving you better because of it. Thank you to all of my faithful readers! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you.
Blessings on your weekend!