The Comfort of Consistency
“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been borne by Me from birth
And have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!”
(Isaiah 46:3-4a NASB)
Dad Gamble had been in the hospital a few days and was feeling better. “I like living with you and Ray,” he said during my visit. “In the morning, honey, you come in with a cup of coffee and put it on my bed tray. You open the blinds so I can see the sun rise.” Then he continued, repeating our daily routine. In that strange hospital room in a new town and a new state, reflecting on our everyday habits gave him comfort. Remembering the consistent routine we had established at home helped him cope with the surprise and change at the hospital. Simply listing what was normal was reassuring.
“Nina,” says my four-year-old grandson. “When I go back to living in Virginia and you come to visit, will there still be a present every day when I wake up?” This little guy and his family are living with us temporarily, so in this household, much to his sadness, there are not presents every day. However, he thinks back on the familiar and loves remembering the consistent promise that when Nina and Papa visit, there’s always a fun bag with a treasure when you wake up and come downstairs in the morning. He is comforted to think that this routine will re-emerge once he’s back home again. It eases the unfamiliarity of living in a new place for a season.
No matter our age, consistency matters. Even though rituals and routines can feel boring at times, the lack of any rhythm to a life creates confusion and chaos and fear. We are most contented when we know what to expect and when those expectations are met. Just about everyone chooses certain patterns of living that guarantee each day has some certainties.
This beautiful passage in Isaiah is God’s way of telling us that there is great certainty in being His. Those of us born into His family are carried by Him. And “even to our old age” God will not change. He will be the same, and even to our “graying years” God will bear us.
Every week, I see a little more gray in my brown hair—the graying years have arrived. I’m Nina to five grandchildren with one on the way, and my hair will gray more with each passing year. Oh, how I am comforted by this passage! Since I was a little one of four, kneeling, and asking Jesus to come into my heart, my good, great God has carried me. He has been with me in good times and hard times. The reassurance that He will never abandon me lifts me up and makes me smile. The consistent love of my God is a wonderful comfort.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your deep, consistent love. I could barely understand what I was doing when I was four, and yet You loved me and carried me. When I’m very old, I suspect I may not be able to do too much then either—except love You and pray. And You will continue to love me even then. And, when I pass from this life to eternity, there You will be! Loving me still. Oh, how glad I am to be Yours. Thank you, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Originally written and published by Sharon Gamble of Sweet Selah Ministries. Used with permission.