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Isaiah 35:1-7 (NIV)
Joy of the Redeemed
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.
Ever thought: “This is too good to be true”? Maybe you have an incredible friend that loves to hang out with you and listen to everything you have to say. Maybe you got some incredible news that was shocking (in a good way), like getting into the college of your dreams or getting a new car for your 16th birthday. In these verses we are given a glimpse of a world that seems way too good to be true. The desert wilderness is going to be filled with water and produce new, joyous life. Yet, daily life eats away at this promised vision. It can be the same for us. We see suffering on the news. We hear of another person being diagnosed with cancer. Someone we know loses their job. Yet, our current circumstances, both good and bad, are only temporary. Our pains are merely fleeting and our joys are only a foretaste of the eternal joys ahead. This Advent give your anxieties to God. Choose to focus on His beautiful future and let Jesus raise your eyes to see the glory of the promised resurrected life. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the prophecies of Isaiah that give us a glimpse of the future that you are preparing. Take upon your shoulders our fears and anxieties so that we might be freed to live with hope and joy in this life. Use us to share this vision with others and work to carry one another’s burdens. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.