Thursday – August 31, 2023

Isaiah 33-35; 1 Corinthians 6


By Becky Hill Martin

Isaiah 35:2

Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God.

So there’s the desert-desert and the figurative desert. And if you’re adding an extra “s” when typing that word like I usually do, you’re confusing “desert” with “dessert.” I like dessert with 2 “s-es”. I don’t like the desert – literally or figuratively. I’ve been through the desert (not on a horse with no name and you’re welcome for the Neil Young earworm) around Reno, Vegas and my front yard after the past month of 100+ degree temps. I didn’t find anything blooming, lush or likeable. I’ve also been through spiritual deserts – tough times I wondered if I would ever survive.

Very little spiritual growth happens when I’m enjoying the lush, green mountain tops in life. It’s usually during those figurative spiritual deserts that I become “parched” for God and experience a work in my life that could only come from going through the experience.

If you’re walking through your own personal Sahara right now, hold-on to hope. Isaiah 35 talks about the restoration of hope. God’s plan is in play. Although it may be hard to see right now, these situations can lead to growth and better things. God gives us strength and brings people into our lives to help us overcome, bloom, and even find joy even during hardships.

Feel free to share your thoughts or any verses that bring you hope in tough times.