Sustaining With Words
Your words are permanent record, whether spoken or written. Unless you're speaking them alone, someone hears them and they enter someone's permanent consciousness. The person spoken to (in word or breath) may not recall the words, but the words in some small way help shape their reality of the moment you share.
So words matter. A lot.
God created the world by speaking it into being. Our salvation comes through words: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). With words we cuss the lady in the Honda who just cut us off and with words we pray to our Heavenly Father. When a child speaks for the first time, we write it down in their baby book to memorialize. Famous quotations are thrown around on social media all the time and these pithy, profound, or just plain funny sayings can change the course of a day if the timing is right.
Isaiah was a prophet who knew God's favor in a way we can hardly comprehend. God gave Isaiah words and prophecies and skills so Isaiah could be a medium for truth. Check out the reason Isaiah was given his ability to communicate:
"The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary." (Isaiah 50:4)
God gifted Isaiah with the ability to speak intelligently so he could sustain people with words. Now Isaiah could have used this gift as a way to draw lots of attention to himself or to advance his career, but instead he chose to use his gift to sustain weary people. And how did he do that? He spoke the raw truth of God - which is the water our souls pant for.
Understand that every single word you speak has depth and permanence. The tone of your voice, the word you choose, and the body language you work from will impact someone else for a long period of time. Errant words are bullets that we cannot take back.
Every single interaction - buying the cup of coffee at the gas station and the lunch meeting - is an opportunity for words to refresh, heal, and sustain other people. Words are a gift we can offer to others.
Photo credit: Daniel via Flickr