Reaching out to Central New York in the name of Jesus Christ

A Word for Today

The Desert Blooms

Read Isaiah 35

In Matthew 11 John the Baptist asked Jesus if he was the Messiah that had been foretold of and expectantly waited for by the Jewish people for years. In response Jesus quoted from Old Testament scriptures from Isaiah 35 and 61. Both chapters were written by Isaiah about what happens when God intervenes in His people’s lives. Since Jesus quoted these verses about himself we can also say they must explain what happens when Jesus intervenes or enters someone’s life.

Both of the chapters in Isaiah provide a bleak picture of a broken, lifeless land and people that are radically transformed. Isaiah 35 uses the following words to describe the land before its transformation:  desert, wilderness, parched, and solitary. He describes the people as fearful, deaf, blind, lame, and dumb. The land and the people are devoid of life, joy, and zest. These words are all defined by the way they describe the lack that a place or person has.

But oh, the glorious transformation! Isaiah describes how the desert blossoms, the fearful become strong of heart, the blind are able to see, the deaf can hear, and so on. Even more, Isaiah says that the blossom is abundant, that the lame don’t just walk—they leap, the dumb don’t just talk—they sing. In the wilderness and desert there is not some rain—waters and streams break out, and pools form. What a “before and after” picture.

You see, when the Lord comes into someone’s life the change isn’t small. The Lord pours out life, joy, and zest in abundance and fills his people with rejoicing and gladness. May we always be reminded of the abundant goodness of God and the change He has wrought in each of our lives.

As the old hymn says, “O soul, are you weary and troubled?   Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” 

Thank you Lord for the strength, joy, and gladness that Your Spirit provides to us. I will not forget the joy that salvation brings and I pray that my joy and gladness are a testimony for You.