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You know what I am talking about. For me, it occurred yesterday around the time of 1:15PM. I had just laid Jocelyn down for her nap. Sophia was also laying down.

{Sigh} defines it as:  “to let out one’s breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief.” 

For me it was a sigh of relief as I now would have about 1 1/2 hours of relief – a break from my responsibilities. Time to regroup & hopefully re-energize for the afternoon. But this morning I am thinking of those that let out that {Sigh} because they are in deep sorrow with no sign of relief. They are weary to the bone, truly feeling like they cannot go on. As I prayed during the night for those carrying such heavy griefs, the Lord brought to mind Isaiah 35. In my Bible, it is titled, “Joy of the Redeemed”. And who could argue that those carrying heavy loads of grief could use a little redemption from their circumstances? This chapter is so rich that I encourage anyone to read it in its entirety, several times.

In reading it this morning, this is what I gleaned:

  • Though we may be parched at this moment, we will bloom again. So hard to believe at the time. Yet we will. We know it because His Word tells us. “The desert & the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice & blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly & should for joy.” (verse 1). The crocus is one of the first blooms of spring. They burst through the ground, yet cold & hard, delighting us with their pops of color & the hope they infuse that, indeed, winter is over & spring is coming.
  • We have a responsibility to those that are weak, grieving & tired. There are times in life that circumstances render us weak-kneed, wobbly on our feet, and drained. We are to come alongside of them and, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear.” (verse 3-4a). No words of condemnation or judgment. Just encouragement. When we strengthen them, we are doing the repair work that needs to be done for them to continue on.
  • God will bring justice & salvation. He will. “Your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” (verse 4b). As hard as it is, we need to let Him be the One who will balance the scales. He is the only One that will make things right – in His time, in His way.
  • New growth will come. In the midst of what is seemingly empty, our God causes something new & different to come forth. “In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass & reeds & papyrus will grow.” (verse 7).

But I think for me the best part of this chapter is in the remaining verses….

8 And a highway will be there;

it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
(verses 8-10 NIV)
Did you catch it? THERE IS coming a day when there will no longer be anything lurking, waiting to bring us harm. There will no longer be danger. There will be a road that only the redeemed will walk on. And when we take this walk on that day, we will be crowned with EVERLASTING JOY. Our joy will never again be able to be taken from us. Not ever. Our sorrow & mourning will disappear.
And in its place will be joy & gladness.