As I have learned more about how Live58 came into being it has brought me back to reading Isaiah 58 repeatedly. I printed it out and taped it to my mirror in my bathroom so that I can see it multiple times a day. Usually when I read something over and over different aspects and parts stand out to me at different times. That is not the case (at least not yet) with Isaiah 58. I continue to come back to one sentence and that sentence seems to be taking root in me.
"And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in." Isaiah 58:12
It is almost strange to me that this is what continues to stand out. I mean, the whole "share your bread with the hungry" part is pretty awesome but the idea of raising up the foundations of many generations is burrowing deep into my soul.
I believe so strongly in the ministry of With This Ring that I am volunteering for it on a regular basis now. What started as a few hours here and there has turned into a passion to serve Jesus through sharing about radical giving. As I have dwelt on the idea of raising up the foundations of many generations I think about the villages that are receiving a water well through the radical gifts received by WTR. I think about how it is changing the lives of those living in that village now but how it is also giving potential for the generations to come. It has literally restored the streets of these villages that were destitute and without hope. It provides for the widows who would walk miles in order to collect water (which was still usually teeming with parasites). It provides hospitals with clean water for patients so that they do not leave the hospital more diseased than when they arrived (can you even fathom leaving a hospital more ill than when you arrived due to polluted water?!). I think about the children that will grow up hearing things like "Jesus loves us so much He sent these strangers to our village to bring us water" or "there are others who love Jesus and us more than their own comfort and gold and silver" and it makes my heart smile.
Then the next layer peeled back and my understanding grew.
Raising up the foundations of many generations is as much (if not more) about those on this side of the equation as it is about those on the other side of the world. Harriett Tubman said "I freed a thousand slaves but I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves." This is so true of many of us that live with the abundance of having our everyday needs met. In many ways we are enslaved and we don't even know it. We don't seem selfish or materialistic but somehow we find the money to go out to eat multiple times a week (guilty!) or buy new clothes even when we really don't need anything. Meanwhile there are others dying without their basic needs of water, food, shelter and clothing being met. I believe that by living out the idea of radical giving, sharing it with others and then watching those people share it with their children that we will truly raise up the foundations of many generations. I pray that we can become a people that is so enamored with Jesus that the shiny things of this world no longer lure us away. I pray that as we learn that Jesus is our prize and our treasure that our children will learn that there is nothing in this world that is worth more than following Him. I pray that the generosity that He stirs in us will only be the beginning and that our children and our children's children will grow up learning and watching what it looks like to give with a grateful heart and then they will go forward and do even greater things.
I truly pray that we can raise up the foundations of many generations (our own, our communities and those around the world) and restore the streets to dwell in. Please Jesus show us Your path to accomplishing these things for Your glory and Yours alone.
I love you Jesus.