So....how about that heat?
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." --Isaiah 40:31
I personally would love to see some heat right now. I don't like having high temperatures in the single digits, and the snow is pretty, but I just want Spring to come. I digress.
It's a common phrase to call a troubling time in our lives a time when we're "walking through a desert" primarily because of the story in the Old Testament with God sending the Israelites to wander in the desert for forty years after not going into the Promised Land as He called them to. We may not have to deal with the dehydration and sunburn, but like the Israelites, we are tired when we hit these moments in our walks with God. I personally went through a tribulation recently, and I can tell you this much: I haven't cried so much in a two-and-a-half-week period in my life. What do we as Christians do to get through these moments?
Let's look at the first verse in Isaiah I quoted above:
See, I am doing a new thing! -- Given these tribulations that we are facing, God is ten steps ahead of us in His plan. We are being shaped here into the person that God has called us to be. He knows the greatest things we are capable of doing with Him by our side because He was the One who created us! He knows us inside and out like the back of His hand!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? -- It's hard to zoom out and look at the big picture when we are so focused on the ultimate goal: make this hardship go away! Sometimes, in order for something to get better, it must get worse. We need to remember that God is the ultimate Care-taker of us. He knows what is in our best interest and will make it happen in His time because He loves us.
I am making a way in the wilderness... -- The Lord doesn't send us through trials just to send us through. He wants to show us that we can trust Him. He will provide. He will make a way through this pain we are experiencing.
...and streams in the wasteland. -- We are spiritually thirsty when we go through these hard times. Some question if He is really there because of all of the oppression they are feeling pile on their shoulders and their hearts; HOWEVER, God comes in and makes a way for the streams in the wasteland. The psalmists use many different metaphors of fountains, streams, rivers, etc. A couple are found in Psalms 36 and 107. The Lord has, is, and always will satisfy if we seek Him and have a firm foundation with the hope that He will lift us out of the deep sorrow we experience.That is where Isaiah 40:31 comes in: hoping in the Lord is the greatest choice we can make in the face of tribulation/trial/wilderness/desert/oppression/however you want to phrase what you're experiencing. His love for us never fails, never ends, and is without condition. When we keep our hope in the Lord that everything will be alright despite how it looks now, we will be blessed with the strength that God promises us.