The Road of Holiness
35 The desert will rejoice,
and flowers will bloom in the wastelands.
2 The desert will sing and shout for joy;
it will be as beautiful as the Lebanon Mountains
and as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon.
Everyone will see the Lord’s splendor,
see his greatness and power.
3 Give strength to hands that are tired
and to knees that tremble with weakness.
4 Tell everyone who is discouraged,
“Be strong and don’t be afraid!
God is coming to your rescue,
coming to punish your enemies.”
5 The blind will be able to see,
and the deaf will hear.
6 The lame will leap and dance,
and those who cannot speak will shout for joy.
Streams of water will flow through the desert;
7 the burning sand will become a lake,
and dry land will be filled with springs.
Where jackals used to live,
marsh grass and reeds will grow.
8 There will be a highway there,
called “The Road of Holiness.”
No sinner will ever travel that road;
no fools will mislead those who follow it.
9 No lions will be there;
no fierce animals will pass that way.
Those whom the Lord has rescued
will travel home by that road.
10 They will reach Jerusalem with gladness,
singing and shouting for joy.
They will be happy forever,
forever free from sorrow and grief.
What a beautiful passage this is. Full of hope and promise.
I found myself again this week longing for the strength to hands that are tired and to knees that are weak, and on a bad week, for every other joint screaming and screeching in pain and objection.
At this time of year so many are crying in exhaustion, in despair, in wondering how anything is going to happen. People are struggling and juggling amongst, despite, or even because of the merriment. People are grieving – for all kinds of things.
And into that comes the Advent message of hope, of God, of his coming to set everything right, of a God of rescue. The promise of a time when we will have the strength, when flowers will bloom in the wasteland, when wrongs will be righted and we will finally know freedom.
This is our hope. This is God’s promise. It is a journey God invites us on with him.
As I wait, as I journey, what am I doing to work with him? To give strength to those who need it? To help them carry their burdens? To support those in despair? To plant seeds in wastelands? To right wrongs? To liberate and free? As I long for God to do that in me, I can work with him to bring it about for others.
As I long for God’s hope and promise, what am I doing to enable it to come in my world today.
bring peace, strength, freedom.
As I long in hope
fulfill your promises
and through me