“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15 ESV
It is a beautiful, slightly stormy morning in my corner of the Universe. It is the perfect kind of morning for the mind to be stilled, and the soul to be refilled by the Maker of all things. The little dog is laying peacefully at my side and the coffee is slowly losing its heat and chaos, as I know it, is melting away.
As I read in my devotional this morning, the above scripture in Isaiah came up. The translation in my devotional doesn’t read as it does in my personal Bible. I like to read both what is in the book and what is in my translation, and compare the two. Kind of nerdy, I know, but in moments like today, it proves quite powerful. I am not certain what translation the devotional uses, but between, “I dwell in the high and holy place” and “with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit” there is only a comma separating the two very unique situations.
Now, as a school teacher by trade, I teach my kiddos that a comma can act as the word “and”, thus needing to replace the word “and” within lists so as not to be redundant. I totally get that the comma here also implies the word “and” but its easy to miss it. And I did. Altogether.
It wasn’t till I read it in my own Bible that I saw the words “and also”. Oh the beauty of those two all-inclusive words! As I reflected in my journal about these marvelous seven letters, the wholeness of God came into focus. He is everywhere, and also…. He is limitless, and also…. He is Father God, and also Holy Spirit, and also fully Jesus Christ!
In the chaos of all that surrounds us, it is easy to lose sight of where God is in the midst of it all. But how sweet a word to know that no matter where you are, what life looks like, what your relationship has been with Him, He is there. He is on the mountain tops of success, and also the valleys of the shadow of death. He is sinless, blameless, spotless, and also fully indwelling of the sinful, broken, hurting souls.
How peaceful a morning it is here. The storms gently announcing their presence, the dog snuggling my right leg, and my Bible laid open to a page in Isaiah, waving slightly under the breeze of the ceiling fan. How lovely are the two words that bring peace, comfort, and better understanding, “and also”.
I think back to church services of my youth, and how we would call and respond, “and also with you.” I pray today, that no matter where life finds you today, you feel the fullness and wholeness and comfort of “and also” with you.