v 8. Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, Here I am. Send me.”
Isaiah was firmly held in the presence of God as he worshipped; it was
while he was in that frame of mind that he both heard and gladly responded to the Lord’s question. Times of worship can often be the occasion for hearing from God. Saul (Paul) and Barnabas had exactly the same experience in Acts 13: ‘ One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. ‘ As they prayed, they listened to what God was saying to them, and thus began the great enterprise of taking the Good News of Jesus to the Gentiles. But it began as they prayed and listened in the presence of God. Their response was similar to Isaiah’s ‘Here I am, send me’.
That frame of mind has been evident down the ages in the history of the Church. This open attitude of ‘Here I am’ is a condition of vulnerability. It reflects the submission of self to the grand purposes of God without even knowing where that will lead. The traditional response of a Bride and Bridegroom, “I will” is much the same; they have no real idea where it is going to take them, it is only after years of marriage that the full significance of that mutually submissive response becomes evident. So it is in walking with Jesus through the everyday bumps of 21st Century life. When I say ‘Here I am’ to God it implies a willingness and that daily commitment to listen, obey and get on with it that is submission to the God who is full of grace and mercy.