For the Lord will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord
– Isaiah 51:3
I will now allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
From there I will give her her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall respond as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
– Hosea 2:14-15
So often we consider the wilderness to be a desert, to be a place of trial, purgation, bleak and stark. And I don’t want to deny these experiences, I’ve certainly had them and they can be worthwhile and fruitful in their strange desert way.
And yet, I also know a wilderness that is full of life and growth and lush beauty. What might God say to us in this place?