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Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see --
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!”
As Servants of the Sovereign Savior, Huggers of Hope and Members of the Household of Faith, it is the easiest thing to become depressed and discouraged by the Deserts that are in our lives.
We are surrounded on every side by trouble, tragedy, misfortune, heartache, discouragement; consumption, decline, loss destruction, decay; ruin, devastation, spoliation, desolation; refuse, rubbish, trash, garbage - DESERTS!
Deserts fill our world, stalk our streets and sting our spirit. Decay pollutes our air, poisons our water. Deserts kill our joy, dash our hopes and snatch our loved one away prematurely. We are surrounded on every side by desolation, ruin, waste and destruction!
On every side we are surrounded by the Cries of the People of God in these Deserts. 500,000,00 people hungry; 1 billion people in extreme poverty; 40 million dying every day from malnutrition; billions of people with no access to medical care. 1 out of 10 young African men being murdered on the streets of America mostly by our own people. Millions addicted to drugs and alcohol; millions suffering the agony of neglect and abuse. People are Sighing and Crying and Dying in this Desert! Their hopes dismantled; their dreams destroyed; their prospects all but perished! Deserts have come their way just like they have come our way! Yes, I agree with Henry Lyte who wrote:
“Change and decay in all around I see.”
Robert Frost wrote:
“I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.”
Yes, each one us have our “own desert places.” Deserts leave no stone unturned, no body untainted, no life untouched and no heart unbroken. Even the Lord Jesus Christ, who came into this world as the perfect specimen of the human family, thru His life demonstrates for us what it means to be a true child of God. But even He wasn’t above this Desert-Experience; for He was stabbed by suffering, stung by pain, startled by disappointment and stalked by death. And taking His place, casting His lot with us in our desperate situation, the Desert claimed the Son of God, straggled the life out of Him, signed the requisition for His disposition, sealed the order for His termination, and delivered Him into a cool, chilly, waiting grave!
It seemed like all was lost; it seemed like all was done; it seemed like the Fat Lady could now sing; it looked like the curtain had fallen on the Light of the world; it looked like Life had met death and death had won. But before you take out your pencil and write a Period thinking that’s the end of the story, I think I ought to tell you that God Erased that Period and wrote an Everlasting Comma!
So we can rejoice today; we can shout today; we can celebrate today; we can give thanks today because GOD IS DOING A NEW THING! And neither disappointment, heartache, trouble, deserts nor death could claim Jesus Christ.
And therefore, the Lord thru the lips of Isaiah, viewing from afar the Resurrection Event, declares in tones bright and clear “I will even make rivers in the desert.”
And that “Rivers in the Desert” Thing, that “Streams in the Wasteland” Phenomenon is significant and relevant to our present situation and circumstance; because many of us are
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