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Comfort in the Wilderness

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1–3a

The Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts which I have shared here recently offers these words from Isaiah for meditation today. I have included the link below for those who missed it.

In this passage, the prophet offers images of coming out unscathed from extreme dangers, sort of like surviving the dangers of the wilderness. It is a fitting passage for all who suffer from trauma, especially that of exile or captivity.

Also this morning, the Pray as you Go app meditated on Matthew 18. 12 - 14, the story of the lost sheep...the lost sheep searched for by the shepherd who left 99 other sheep just to find this one. How beautifully these two passages coincide.

I find myself thinking about being found by the Good Shepherd in the Wilderness, when the rivers seem to be overflowing and the fires burning, and the damage, though sometimes superficial, is not permanent; I am not scorched or burned, just a little damp and warm. Advent is an appropriate time to remind myself that the Good Shepherd always searches for even me, looking high and low until I am safely home. But when the water is high and the fire is hot, I must not lose focus; I must keep my eye on the prize and the promise. I cherish Advent for the reminder of the wilderness and how to navigate it.


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