35 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. 3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. 8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Have you ever been in a ‘wilderness’ season of life? Where things feel dry or fruitless, like you are constantly walking in circles but getting nowhere? I know I have. I have experienced seasons that have felt barren and empty, that have drained me and made me question whether there was any hope or purpose in what was going on.
One of the things that has sustained me in seasons like this has been the word of God, specifically passages like this one that remind us of who God is and the goodness He brings, how He promises that “dry places will be full of joy”, and of the hope that is to come.
The truth is that being one of God’s people does not guarantee an easy breezy life all the time. However, when we know God, we know that we can have peace and hope no matter our circumstances or surroundings, because of who He is. We can also continue to have hope that when this life passes, we will live in perfect freedom and peace, with “joy that lasts forever” because of Jesus.
Jesus, we know that nothing in this life can be perfect because of sin that has entered and permeated every part of our world. We thank you that you are working all things for good – seasons of dryness and seasons of abundance, and that we have hope of an eternal life of joy with you because of what you have done for us. Help us to hold onto these truths in all seasons of life that we face. Amen.
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko