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Hope in the Desert

Last week I spent four days and four nights in the backcountry of the Anza Borrego desert. Every year I try to get out into a wilderness area for a few days where I can spend time with God surrounded by his creation and without the distractions of everyday life. I didn’t see anyone else for the four days. In the flat valleys (“sand meadows” I call them) some of the first wildflowers were blooming, providing nectar for the butterflies that floated freely about. A hummingbird shot up close to my face and hovered there for a while apparently wondering who I was and wanting to know what business I had in his desert. Elephant Trees (rare desert trees with limbs resembling elephant legs or trunks) clung stubbornly to the steep rocky walls. Twice I saw several bighorn sheep walk along the skyline not far from my first campsite. My legs and arms got their usual share of scratches and scrapes from cactus spines and rough granite rock and I saw what were probably cougar tracks at times.

On the last morning I was in an area where few people go and where I had the privilege of experiencing three of God’s natural wonders all at the same time. The sun was rising in the east while a rainbow formed in the west and some raindrops began to fall. All of these speak of hope and they all occurred in a dry land where hope sometimes seems so distant.

The Rain

The rain speaks of God’s word that he sends upon us all and its power to accomplish that which he pleases:

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

(Isaiah 55:10-11)

The Rainbow

The rainbow is God’s sign to us that God will never again bring a flood to destroy all flesh on earth. It speaks of God’s mercy and his promise.

“I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

(Genesis 9:13-16)

The Sunrise

The sunrise speaks of the resurrection. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead it was proof that he had won the victory over sin, death, and the devil.

“And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”

(Mark 16:2-6)

Does there seem to be no hope in your world?

Turn from your sin and trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour today.

Are you saved but facing difficulties, trouble, or sorrow?

Trust in the one who faced the greatest trial to bring you through.

Are you grateful for the hope that God has given you?

Rejoice in that hope and share it with others.

May God bless you mightily today!

Bruce Thompson

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