That one thing

Isaiah 63:7-14: For [the Lord] said, 'Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely'; and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them...But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit...
Very often I will go into a store for one thing, and come out with my arms full of ten things. Later I realize that I forgot the one thing I needed.
Busy schedules and cluttered minds cause a similar spiritual forgetfulness. We inhabit this earth for one thing: the glory of God, and we are prone to forgetting that purpose because of jumbled priorities. Tasks that have an urgency about them fill our hands so that we can no longer reach out to God or to other people. We honor God, but then devote our time and resources to everything else around us.
The passage from Isaiah tells us that this forgetfulness is not new to God’s people. God created us and saved us, but invariably we have “rebelled and grieved his holy spirit.” We Christians know that we are saved by the grace of God, and we remember that salvation through our worship and through our everyday actions.
But it is easy to forget that God rescued us in our distress, and to grieve God’s holy spirit through sin or indifference. Calendars fill up and overflow. Priorities, real and imagined, press us from every side. We end up with our arms full and our hearts empty.
We have forgotten the one thing we came here to find.
Copyright 2019 by Carol Mead. For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on this ministry, and on a free subscription to these meditations, please go to the website (

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