Thursday, December 6, 2018
by Gillum Owen
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has
served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 40 is a passage written specifically for people who are in the wilderness. Being out in the wild
brings up a need for comfort and that’s exactly what this passage speaks to. Comfort can come in many
forms; a child’s blanket, warmth of a hug, presence of loved ones, etc. Comfort has a lot to do with the
holiday season that is upon us. We look forward to the comfort ahead but it would be naïve to say that
we aren’t still in the wilderness of life. As I have grown older, moved away to college (my own form of
the wild) I realized that those forms of comfort that I treasured as a child don’t last forever. Being out in
the wilderness brings up a need for comfort and I think often I find myself asking God to bring me out of
the wilderness of college life so that I can better know Him. Yet, by asking to avoid this wilderness I am
missing out on a blessing. The good news of being caught in the wild is that God will meet us there. He
will bring the comfort we long for. As we embark on the advent season, we are called to remember the
birth of Jesus Christ. And by belonging to Him, we are also called to ask ourselves difficult questions.
What wilderness do I need God to meet me in this holiday season? What forms of comfort are we
longing for most? When we answer these questions honestly, we are able to prepare the way of the
Lord by not avoiding our wilderness but experiencing the comfort of Him there.