Isaiah 51:3 “Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion (put in your name): He will comfort all her waste places and her wilderness He will make like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord . Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and sound of a melody.” NAS
Waste versus productivity. We cut waste, dispose of waste, and waste stinks. When I was unemployed I felt like I are wasting time. Time, my most un-renewable resource. I was wasting time with non-productive activities: computer games, TV, housework. Things I used to do when I was having “down-time”. I tell people “God did not make human doings, he made human beings. Everything in our culture fights that concept and you are only as good as your ability to produce. I began to feel like waste. Discarded, un-needed and un-wanted. That was the toughest time.
Wilderness is un-organized, natural, dangerous and has not been tended like a garden. It is hard when you transition from severely organized days to freedom to sleep, eat, and work-out whenever you want to. I spent time making lists of jobs I applied for, follow-up and networking with others. When interviews did happen, not being chosen requires self-reflection and a time to be sad. If you say it does not make you sad or hurt, you are probably lying. It was natural to not want to get out, not spend money, and not feel like you have something to say. Then the attitude changed and I relaxed into the garden where God organized my day. And it started and ended with Him.
Desert is barren, abandoned, does not grow things, and is brown and desolate. The abandonment I felt intensified when very few of my former work colleagues or customers ever call to check on me. Say Hi. Get your opinion. They no longer need you, and you realize, you did not have friends there. Just colleagues. My mind began to wonder if I would ever be “sharp” again. I read many books, communicated and wrote, but it was the daily interaction that grew my thinking. The absence of work created a time of desolation and I could not find the garden.
I was promised that joy and gladness and music and Thanksgiving would come. I am still waiting. Patiently.
Questioning. Faithfully. Still after months.
What is your desert like? Who do you miss? Have you created an Eden at home while you look for work? How can you feel more productive? What have you been wanting to do that you can pursue with this time?