Every other month I join the Mosaic Women’s Gathering to talk about our annual gathering, share stories, and empower each other. At our last meeting, as we were brainstorming ideas for this year’s gathering, Marta Castillo shared from Isaiah 54, about enlarging our tent, or dreaming big.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,Isaiah 54:2-3, ESV
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.
After the meeting, I found myself reflecting upon this passage for the rest of the week. As little children, we were often told to dream big. Every Sunday at Philadelphia (PA) Praise Center, the benediction includes, “May God enlarge your territory to the left and to the right…” in Indonesian.
However, Isaiah 54 reminded me that before we can enlarge our tent, we first must let ourselves be stretched out. And as we all know, being stretched out is uncomfortable.
We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic. Throughout this time, I’m sure that all of us had to pivot and adapt to the current situation. Personally speaking, I have felt stretched thin because I feel trapped in a season of waiting yet having too little time to do everything. I can feel overwhelmed, like God is stretching me too hard.
However, God has always found a way to gently remind me whenever I feel like I’m at the lowest point in my life. I find strength by being reminded of this passage, that was addressed to the desolate as an eternal covenant of peace.
I am taking away three things from the Isaiah passage:
1. Do not hold back
When God is stretching me, I must constantly tell myself to not speed up or put a speed bump on God’s process. I should try to enjoy the uncomfortable. I need to enjoy the stretch!
2. Lengthen your cords
Sometimes when I feel I don’t have enough to give, I keep telling myself that it’s okay to say no. It’s also okay to ask for help. A tent cord is used to secure a tent to the ground. Our limitations are what ground us and keep us human. In the areas where I feel like I lack, I find peace in knowing that God will be able to fill the empty spaces.
3. Strengthen your stakes
A house without a strong foundation won’t last long in the middle of a storm. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in doing things that I forget to recenter myself in God. I can find myself lost. I need to humbly be reminded of how little control I have, and how much I need God to help me through.
As I reflected on times when I felt stretched to my limit, I found comfort when I felt God’s helping hands during those times. In my little, God is big. In my weak, God is strong.
May you find strength and peace in this closing verse, as it did to me:
“For the mountains may departIsaiah 54:10, ESV
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.