Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
Crazy stuff is about to go down!
That's probably the most accurate translation of today's passage from Isaiah in modern vernacular.
You think you've seen everything? Well, have I got something for you! Isaiah 35:3-7 says that just because everything has been one way does not mean that that way is going to continue forever. This passage challenges us to remember that we must not accept the way things are as the way things are supposed to be. Blind people are not supposed to be that way. Deaf people, likewise, are not meant to remain so. People will illness will leap with joy, unencumbered by their disabilities. Those who have been unable to sing will do so with great joy. Streams will shoot out from the parched land of the deserts and waters will break forth in the wilderness.
For some people, this is good news. Anyone who is blind, deaf, or lame would probably be in this camp.
For others, this is bad news. Anyone who profits off of people who are weaker than them will probably be in another camp.
"Be strong, do not fear" we are told. God is coming to make all things new. Which camp do you want to be in? The camp of people who welcome God's newness with open arms or the camp of people who resist it with senseless futility? I don't know about you, but I want to greet God's newness even if it challenges me to see things and people in different ways. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but it's certainly going to be one blessed adventure! Come, Lord Jesus!
Prayer of the Day:
God of All Newness,
come and bring sight to the parts of my life that have been blinded by my shortcomings.
Come and bring movement to be parts of life that have been immobilized by my brokenness.
Come and bring new birth to the parts of my life that need renewal and redemption.
Come and bring praise to my speechless lips and songs to my silent heart. Amen.