Isaiah 54:7-8 portrays this picture of God's punishment and kindness in a graphic way. His mercy has overtaken his wrath. He has abandoned them but only for a while.
Though this verses are the story of a nation's abandonment and their reinstating, it has a personal dimension as well as the story of this young man tells. Probably many of us may be able to relate to this story as well.
He had come to the seminary from a not so well-to-do family. In the seminary he goes through a nervous breakdown. All his plans to complete studies, get married and then get ordained into ministry are foiled. To add to the misery the seminary advises him to take a break. An year goes by and then he joins the seminary again to find that he had to get regular help of a psychiatrist and go on his studies on a slower pace. He had to see his class graduate without him. His juniors also passed before him. Finally, his day came and he graduated. However, he was told that, knowing that he has a history of psychological illness, his church is not really willing to trust him with a church. Long internship begins; finding a marriage partner for a person who carries the stigma of mental illness was difficult in his culture.
However, he gets married much later in life than his friends. It was a long wait. The church finally is convinced that he is fully healed. Now, in a few weeks time he will be ordained into the ministry of his denomination. He decided to print Isaiah 54:7-8 on the top of the invitation card: " For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back." He has crossed the lines over to the compassion field. What God has done in his life is certainly an encouragement for all those who are waiting on the other side of our existence under God's wrath or negligence (whatever you would like to call it) to cross over. The waiting may be long, but it will certainly not be futile.