I read Isaiah in about two days. Not because that’s how the assignments for my sprinting worked out but because I had gotten behind. Shocker, I know. As I was whipping through Isaiah (and knowing I wasn’t understanding all of it) I stopped when I reached chapter 51:3. And when I say stopped, I mean slammed-on-the-breaks-because-I-saw-something-I-couldn’t-afford-to-miss.
This is what it says:
The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
Did you see that? Because I almost missed it. Let me show you again:
‘he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD’
That’s right, folks. There is hope for an exit ramp to my desert! Not only can my desert be changed into something beautiful – it can be changed into a garden like Eden!
This was just another reminder that God shows up in bigger and better ways than we thought. When we expect an oasis, He can show up with a garden. When we expect a garden, He can show up with Eden. I’ve been learning that God shows up in unexpected ways at unexpected times. That brings comfort to me in my desert. I’m sick of wandering around. I’m sick of making great efforts to leave my tent only to go running back to it when I feel slighted or hurt.
It dawned on me that transformation comes more from Him than from me. I am responsible for my actions and for the renewing of my mind. But I alone cannot change myself.
Here’s to more of Him and less of me. Here’s to asking Him for change while I continue to seek Him.
How has God brought Eden to you this year?