Waiting for the abundance of Isaiah 35

Greetings all. Welcome to the new followers – and thank you 🙂 I’m continuing a short series in Isaiah; sharing some of the encouragement and challenge of reading the book over the summer. If you like, you can read Isaiah and Me or The Isaiah Disclaimer as these were my introductory posts.

It was a  joy to read the first couple of verses of chapter 35 from the New Living Translation…

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
    The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! (v1,2a)

It reminded me of church.

At times church can feel a bit like a desert and a wilderness. There are seasons when I have felt church life to be a spiritual wasteland.  If you’re shocked and/or you disagree with me, then you should count yourself extremely blessed. You should thank God every day, that church life has never been like that for you.
It has for me, and for many I know.

Thankfully, those seasons pass, and church life becomes a literal,  ‘abundance of flowers and singing and joy.’ I’m grateful to God that is also my experience.

What struck me about these verses was that there is a reason to be glad, even in the wilderness days. Our spiritual wastelands have the potential to bloom. And this message of hope is to be passed to those who need it.

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
    and encourage those who have weak knees. v.3a

The image of tired pray-ers comes to mind. Hands raised or simply joined together; on our knees – either literally or emotionally. It can be disappointing; praying for the same things over and over. Waiting is tiring, but the news of God promising an abundance of blossoms and joy from desert lands, brings strength. And of course, that promise comes back again in chapter 40. Strength for those who wait on Him.

We should tell people that. I bet we all know someone with tired hands and weak knees. Or maybe it’s you who needs to hear it. I know it cheers my heart every time I read it. So be encouraged, or be an encourager. No matter how dry and desolate the situation, there is promised cause for celebration.

It might not feel like it everyday. It might not feel like it today. But there’ll be flowers, and singing, and joy; and lots of it.
Just you ‘wait’. 🙂 x



More than you could ask or imagine

There’s a series of Christmas stories over on my fiction blog, Fictitious Amo, one each day by a different author. I’m delighted with the contributions. You should take a look… 🙂

In the meantime – my lastest musings…

I’d heard about it lots of times but I don’t remember experiencing it.

pile booksIt’s quite possible that I actually experience it every day and never notice. Maybe having clean air and clean water and a roof over my head… That could well be it and I just never spotted it.

But whether I’ve experienced it before or not, I’ve only noticed it recently. For the first time I know what it’s like to receive more than I could ask or imagine.

I’ve wanted to be great at something for ages and not known if I ever would be. I’ve wanted to shine; not brighter than everyone else, but brighter than I ever had & brighter than I ever thought I could.

I spend so much time swatting the flies of guilt and failure, and it’s very tiring. But after years of being good at things but never quite cutting the mustard, I seem to have found something I’m great at. (Dare I say it…?) Something I’m really really great at.

The process of writing and publishing my first book has been a miracle really. From the financial gift handed to me by a good friend at the very beginning, that basically paid for half of it. To the surprise opportunity to do an extra term of teaching, which paid for the other half. The response of the publisher and her hard work, and now the response of the readers, especially the authors who spoke at my two launch events.
One of them said I “weave magic with words”. About me… he said that about ME!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God to allow me to be great at something. To fill the space left by the years of longing to be a great mother. To be able to point at something and say, “I did that and it’s bloody good. I’m proud of it.”

God is my ultimate inspiration and I mean it when I say in the book.
‘Though you are not explicitly mentioned in this book, every redemptive moment every opportunity for forgiveness and every glimpse of hope is inspired by your Good News!”

Well… now I know. Now I know what it’s like to receive more than I could ask or imagine.
Nothing to do with money or success. Just something I can give that people enjoy.

My favourite currency.

photo credit: Raoul Luoar via photopin cc