"it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy." (Isaiah 35:2)
How are you feeling? It has been a hectic week, in a busy month, in a "crazy" year - so how are you feeling? Pretty much the way you expected to feel? Are all the preparations working? How much are you still waiting on? In the midst of all the prepwork, all the meetings, all the shopping is anything "unexpected" happening? Where are you seeing, and feeling, God? Is there "joy" in there somewhere?
The readings are about working while waiting - even about how hard the waiting can be. Isaiah is writing to the Hebrew people in exile. They have gone through a lot, are still going through it and it will be a while before they can go "home." Isaiah is reminding them God KEEPS God's promises and IS with them (and us) - even the desert "will burst into bloom." (Isaiah 35:2) James is encouraging believers (including us) to be patient and to keep on keeping on. (James 5:7) Jesus' cousin, John, is wondering what is happening. Jesus is quoting Isaiah when Jesus points out healings and the "good news proclaimed." (Matthew 11:5) Each, and all, causing people, like the desert, to "rejoice greatly and shout for joy."
Years ago, when I first started being our Dad's caregiver, he went to a grief support group. He wasn't sure about going but got to where he would admit it was a good thing. One of the things that helped him, and continues to help me, was SOJAG - Sudden Outbursts of Joy and Gladness. In the midst of everything happening, how busy we are, how frustrated we can get there CAN be "Sudden Outbursts of Joy and Gladness" - SOJAG. So I ask again...where have you seen, and felt, God this week? Are you feeling joy?
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