Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gladness in the Desert

Sorry to be away for so long, but a trip with my mother to visit her brother in Arizona unconnected me from the blog. While visiting my uncle, I got a new view of the beauty of the desert. We had a wonderful joy-filled time, in spite of the circumstances of his illness. There was such beauty, blessing, laughter, and celebration in our reunion. I saw amazing strength, courage, perseverance, and generosity come from my uncle. I am very proud of him. God kept reminding me of many verses from Isaiah:

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

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."

Grass and reeds and papyrus will grow...
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.

Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives...

to comfort all who mourn...

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.

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