Isaiah 35:1-10 paints a beautiful image of deserts blooming, fear fading, and sorrow scurrying into the night. Isaiah has a way with words, and I find hope each time a read his words of prophecy. God energizes “limp hands” and “strengthens the rubbery knees” when I find myself lost. The fact that even fools will not find themselves lost on the Holy Road encourages me to stop worrying about being perfect. Fear freezes and sorrow stops me too much of the time, so I love the reassurance I find in these scriptures of hope in Isaiah.
Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
the badlands will celebrate and flower—
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
a symphony of song and color.
Mountain glories of Lebanon—a gift.
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon—gifts.
God’s resplendent glory, fully on display.
God awesome, God majestic.
Energize the limp hands,
strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls,
“Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”
Blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer,
the voiceless break into song.
Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
streams flow in the desert.
Hot sands will become a cool oasis,
thirsty ground a splashing fountain.
Even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
and barren grasslands flourish richly.
There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It’s for God’s people exclusively—
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
no dangerous wild animals—
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
will come back on this road.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night. (The Message)
The journey home should be a joyous one filled with singing because God is waiting to welcome me home with gifts of joy and gladness. Fears, sorrows, and sighs will scurry into the night, and I will be filled completely with a love unlike any I have ever known. I’m so thankful for the glimpses God gives as I make my way home because they give me hope and help me get back on the right path when I allow fear or sorrow to get me off the path.