1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
When I was a child, we lived in a house that had flower beds on both sides of the front steps. At the end of every gray and dreary February the crocus would push their green leaves up through the dirt, and a few days later they would burst open into shining purple, white and yellow blooms. Those bright blooms always signaled hope, that winter was almost over, and that spring was on its way.
Even though the weather is finally warming and some pandemic restrictions are easing, it still feels like we are waiting in anxiety and hope. We feel uncertain and fearful of the future. The Israelites knew what it was like to live in hope and wait while trying to survive in the wilderness. On their journey through the wilderness many forgot that they were God’s people, they wanted to go back. They were under attack and their way of life was gone and they wanted the enemy subdued and destroyed by God.
But God is a God of transformation and creation, in the desert he makes crocus bloom and pools of water were there was dry sand. Like the Israelites, we can’t go back to the way it was before disaster struck, but we can open our ears to hear the message God has for each of us right here, right now. God comes to save us, strengthen us and take away our fear. And when God saves you, you can no longer remain as you were, but you are now transformed by the love of God to be a new creation. God is preparing you for what lies ahead. Like the desolate desert, you will begin to bloom and feel joy and sing of all that God has done and will do for you. Don’t fear! Be strong in the Lord!
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Everyone wants to get ‘back to normal’ and many are speaking of living the ‘new normal.’ As Christians we are living in both the world and the kin(g)-dom of God. God’s kin(g)-dom is all about transformation. We are here to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Together, let’s find ways in which we can live a new life of transformation. How is God transforming your life during this pandemic in order to prepare you for the future?
Prayer: God of transformation, take away my fears as I rely on your love. Open my ears to the message you have for me. Where there is a desert in my life, Lord, transform it with a garden of possibilities. Bring me joy as I experience this new life of transformation through you. Amen.