The Joy of Restoration

Read: Isaiah 35:1-10

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! . . . everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (vv. 4, 10)

During the third week of Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order of the COVID-19 pandemic, my husband, Javier, had a stroke. As the paramedics were putting him into the ambulance, I grabbed my purse to ride along. One of the paramedics said the hospital would not allow family members to accompany patients because of the pandemic. I felt my world collapsing! Javier and I looked at each other wondering if it was the last time. Tears rolled down my face and anxiety overcame my heart.

Isaiah’s prophecy speaks to our anxious hearts. Imagine a time when sorrow and sighing shall flee away! This is a beautiful poem and a soothing vision of joy in the glory of the Lord and majesty of our God. I find comfort and hope knowing that the wilderness will bloom, and everlasting joy shall be on our heads!

As I mentioned earlier in the month, my husband needs a heart transplant. He’s had several small strokes, and was able to leave the hospital three days after this latest one. Each of these medical emergencies brings me to my knees, praying, of course, for my husband’s health but even more for the advent of the glory of the Lord and ultimate fulfillment of his promises. —Gretchen Torres

As you pray, ask that hope will remain in your heart even amid difficulties and give thanks that tomorrow we celebrate Jesus’ first advent.

About the Author

Gretchen Torres is the Administrative Assistant for Master of Theology and Hispanic Ministry Programs at Western Theological Seminary.

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