The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
Isaiah 35:1-2a (NIV)
Most people don’t even know Canada has a desert – the Okanagan is an anomaly in a country known for snow. But the Okanagan Desert is threatened – scientists and indigenous people are now working to protect the ecosystem. Driving into the town of Osoyoos, British Columbia, visitors notice the landscape becomes drier. The lodgepole pines and Douglas fir trees that dominate the Okanagan Valley’s forests become sparse. If you look closely enough, you may even spot a cactus.
My friend Shimon in Israel has taught me something about deserts – they are actually very beautiful. Having always lived in Israel, Shimon notices things that many of us miss – he sees the various hues in the browns and tans that mark a desert. He sees beauty in the palm oases that mark life sustaining water in that arid landscape. I’ve learned to see the beauty as well. But God has bigger plans for deserts in the new earth. Listen to what the prophet writes in Isaiah 35:1-2a: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.” There will be no dry place in the new heaven and new earth. It will all flourish with life. So will we. Each of us have dry places in our lives – things we carry from our past, sin that we allow in our lives. Jesus said that He has come to bring fullness of life – and He does. One day He will bring life to everything – even to the desert places in the world and in our hearts. He can begin that work right now, if you will allow Him to do so.
These have been words from the heart.