A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3 NIV84)
There are times in which we find ourselves repeatedly drawn back to a verse. So it has been with the verse above. For over a month, I have gone back & read it – in various versions. I have wondered what was pulling me back to read those familiar words. I have known that this verse is a prophetic word concerning John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. Yet I knew there was more to it.
That place of desolation. Loneliness. Alone-ness. It is usually an uncultivated area. Seemingly a wasteland.
Or is it?
In & through this verse, I have learned something new about the desert:
- It is in the desert that the way is prepared. It is here that God is able to work into our lives that which we will need to fulfill His plan. We are prepped & pruned & polished in the very place that seems like it is a waste of our time (or talent). It is a word that means “established”. It is in that very place that our lives are set in order.
- It is in the desert that ways are made straight. I found that word straight to be a curious word. We use expressions such as “the straight & narrow”, “stand straight & tall”, “straight from the shoulder”. These express a rightness or a right way; being proud in a good sense, or of honesty. As our way is “made straight” it is declared right. We live an ethical life, an upright life. Our lives are set, much like a broken bone, so that it can function again in its original purpose. In health.
There is good that comes from time spent in the desert. It not only is good but it is an entirely new thing….
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert & streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NIV84)
Are you in what seems like a desert? Will you believe that God will spring something new from that very place that seems like a wasteland?