The desert is an arid and deserted place. It appears void of beauty. That’s what we thought when we arrived from Jackson, Wyoming. We cried for our majestic, snow-capped peaks. We were confronted with land that appeared denuded by Agent Orange. However, for reasons unknown, God had placed us there. But, we came to love the bristled landscape.
I could make a comparison of this modern world to the old times when I was young. On Sundays, if you didn’t go to church you were thought odd. There was barely traffic on the streets and I lived in a major city. Today, it’s been almost completely reversed. If you go to church- you’re the oddball. This great nation has become a spiritual desert.
God is in the restoring business. He can make a desert bloom. The Israelites, like most of our land, were experiencing this spiritual desert. “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Is.35:10). Although speaking of Israel, there’s a secondary application for the redeemed of the Lord. No matter what we suffer, we will walk, “… an highway…and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (vs. 8).
Who are the unclean? The Bible identifies them as those who don’t profess Jesus as Saviour. In essence, those who simply don’t put their trust in Christ alone. “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear” (1 Peter 4:18)? Simply put the righteous are said to be scarcely saved; which means, only by the grace of God-nothing of ourselves. We can’t help God (He needs no help). Then where do the unbelievers spend eternity? Sadly not with God. I for one, would rather spend eternity in the blooming desert rather than an arid, hot and unforgiving place.
We were fortunate to be in the Mohave Desert during a rare bloom. I don’t have words to describe what I saw. From fields of golden poppies to flowering cacti (the most beautiful flowers we’ve ever seen). Once we came across a solitary desert tortoise and his jowls were green from dining on abundant greenery. It reminded me of life with Christ. Prior to salvation, my life was a desert, but after I was born-again I realized, “…the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing…they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God” (Is. 35: 1-2). Truly a cup of cool water in a dry land!