Joy In The Desert

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Isaiah 35:1-2a,3-4a,10 – The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come." And the ransomed of the Lord 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. (NIV)

My friend has a chronic disease, one of those debilitating medical conditions that leaves her weak, often unable to work, and almost always in pain. Lately, except for visits to her doctor and an occasional visit to church where she slips into the service for the sermon as the music intensifies her headache, she has spent most of her time at home. Yet, when she feels well enough to talk on the telephone, I hear the smile in her voice, and her e-mails to me are signed with the words, "In Jesus' Joy".

"How are you doing?" I asked recently after she had been confined to her home for weeks. "I'm fine," she replied. "When I feel well enough, I go sit in my big chair by the window, and I ask God to show me something from His Word. Then I copy those words into my computer. The devotions give me the positive strength and energy to encourage others."

Today she shared the Scripture from Isaiah. Her typing started in a small font then became larger and larger. As I read, I could feel her excitement. She had heard from God, and she was sharing His message.

Although we may not be able to be physically active, we can be alive in our spirits. God's Word is full of promises and comfort. He's waiting for us to read it, to renew our minds and our souls.

The following is my friend's prayer:

Prayer: God, thank You for the promise of eternal life that will be so beautiful, but thank You also for Your presence even today. You bring joy in the desert — even on this earth. Amen.

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About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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