My friends Robert and Colleen have experienced a healthy marriage for decades, and I love watching them interact. One will pass the butter to the other at dinner before being asked for it. The other will refill a glass at the perfect moment. When they tell stories, they finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes it seems they can read each other’s mind.
It’s comforting that God knows and cares for us even more than any person we know and love. When the prophet Isaiah describes the relationship between God and His people in the coming kingdom, he describes a tender, intimate relationship. God says about His people, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
But how can this be true? There are things I’ve prayed about for years without receiving a response. I believe that as we grow in intimacy with God, aligning our hearts with His, we can learn to trust in His timing and care. We can begin to desire what God desires. When we pray, we ask for—among other things—the things that are part of God’s kingdom as described in Isaiah 65: An end to sorrow (v. 19). Safe homes and full bellies and meaningful work for all people (vv. 21–23). Peace in the natural world (v. 25). When God’s kingdom comes in its fullness, God will answer these prayers completely.
God, thank You for always hearing my prayers. I trust that You love me and are working all things together for good for those whom You’ve called. Please transform my desires so that I want what You want.
Although written to ancient Israel, Isaiah’s words anticipate a time we still await. The prophet writes, “The sound of weeping and crying will be heard in [the new Jerusalem] no more” (65:19). This matches well with John’s vision in Revelation 21, where John writes, “I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ ” (v. 1). In this future existence there “ ‘will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain” (v. 4).