For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15 NIV
We all know that God dwells in a place of celestial perfection.
"Yet in Isaiah, it actually says that God also lives with the one who grieves and with the one who is crushed by the burdens of life here on earth. He really dwells here too, but the place you find him most is in the squalor – the depressing places that no one wants to go.
This actually changes my perception of God. I used to think of God as happily disconnected from us here. I would ask God why we all couldn’t be happy like he is. But then it hit me that if I genuinely love someone who is hurting, I don’t live a happy life as long as they are in pain. If God is truly empathetic with his people, he really doesn’t just dwell in paradise. If our goal is only to be happy, we’re asking for something that even God doesn’t have, until he brings healing and redemption to the earth.
In Isaiah 63:9, it says, “In all their affliction, he was afflicted.” God suffers as long as his people do. He is both on his heavenly throne, but fully with us here, and the place we can most join him is in healing the hurts of others. "