you worm: rejoice

Mississippi has borrowed Florida’s skies this week: big and blue, with puffy schooners of clouds which eradicate sunny days in sudden downpours, making blind walls of clear windows and rivers of open roads.

The pond is up and running over; I look for snakes where the water has crept around grasses. At night the frogs do not simply sing; they roar.

On a chair outside the coffee shop, a tender green inch worm stretches his small self out into the empty air, and I am reminded of something I read yesterday, the LORD, speaking through His prophet Isaiah:

Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

God’s people — all of us collectively — no more than a worm, yet helped by the LORD, preeminent over all things. Yet He promises help to us. And look what He intends to do:

Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.

Think of the worms you’ve seen: the tender inch worms scrunching along twigs or dangling from webs, the earthworms languishing on sidewalks and fishing hooks. Worms mashed and squirming; worms caught and crushed. Easily defeated; hard to protect. Yet of us, of worms, God will make a threshing sledge to uproot mountains and hills.

Set a worm against a mountain, and the mountain always wins, just as surely as rock beats scissors and scissors beat paper. Yet with the help of the Holy One of Israel, the worm is victorious. God strengthens us. He gives us teeth. And our response?

You shall rejoice in the LORD;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

Yes. Yes, I shall.

P1040631

©2014 by Stacy Nott

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