Walking on The Way of Holiness: Joy of the Redeemed

By Erika Rizkallah

This morning I woke up in tremendous pain (more than usual) and couldn’t move. My husband rushed to get my medication and I stayed in bed waiting for it to kick in. For those of you who know me, I live with a rare pain disease that doctors say will never go away.

Good man that he is, he brought me coffee and my Bible study tools. I lay in bed, mulling over the thought that today, I’d remain bedridden. I hate these kind of days; I’m used to them, but it’s Friday and I had shopping plans!

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Somehow in my study I turned to Isaiah 35. Isaiah is one of my favorite Old Testament books and his name means “The Lord saves” or “The Lord is Savior.” It’s filled with prophecies about the Messiah and was written by a man who answered God’s call and became a prophet to kings. More than that, Isaiah’s writing is filled with gorgeous imagery and hope, as well as warning.

Isaiah 35 is subtitled “Joy of the Redeemed.” As followers of Christ, we are people of redemption and I highly suggest you read this short chapter. The last few verses talk about the highway called The Way of Holiness. Here’s what it says:

No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

As I read, gladness and gratitude overtook me and though I sigh, my spirit is filled with joy. I can move now – although with difficulty – but I know that one day I will run along that highway, dancing and singing with gladness!

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Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Hebrews 12:12

A View From Above

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Jesus (Matt 7:1-2)

One of the main reasons I write is to get things off my chest (insert snarky comment).

I was washing dishes a minute ago and my view from the window is a top down look into my neighbor’s backyard and pool. That’s when I saw “the guy.”

Uh oh.

Because I thought, if the guy is there, that means the girl is somewhere nearby. It looked like he was alone and for that I breathed a sigh of relief. All of a sudden – whoopsie daisy – there she was, bending over to pick something up in front of him – and in front of me. In her red bikini, the bottoms of which happen to be a thong.

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It’s 60 degrees outside.

I’m in a sweatshirt and pants, but I think . . . well it is sunny over there. Maybe she’s hot. Oh she’s hot alright. She’s also blond and sports an enormous set of boobs.

And again, I breathed a sigh of relief because my husband’s not around and so far she’s managed to keep her top on. I say so far because that isn’t always the case. Both my hubby and my assistant have gotten a glimpse of her abundant gifts. For some reason the pair now watch my neighbor’s dog on Tuesday mornings.

I admit, my mind races with all sorts of scenarios, seeing as how he’s never needed this before. As the thoughts swirl around my brain the tone with which I process them gets snarkier and my imagination darker.

Then the Holy Spirit rescues me and I step back from the window and let them do their thing, which appears to be heating up by the minute. Do not judge Erika. Also, do not yell any unkind words at them from your window.

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They obviously don’t know (or care) they’re being watched from above, but I’m aware God’s watching me. He’s got a keen eye on my behavior. Will I take his command not to judge into my heart?

Yes. Because I don’t want that measure poured back onto my head. Judgment belongs to Him alone.

So I pray for them and am thankful my son’s eyes are focused on his violent video games.

Your Turn: It’s almost Thanksgiving, so what are you thankful for today?