They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. (Isa. 35:10)
A few years ago, we spent our vacation in Utah. Prior to the trip my knowledge of Utah was informed by sporadic National Geographic stories or a monochrome documentary on public television. In my mind’s eye, Utah was little more than a banal moonscape of red rocks, arid land, the unattractive flatness of the Great Salt Lake. Utah was an unlikely candidate as a vacation destination, but we were curious—we’d never been there, so why not?
My expectations were low-slung as they were swaddled in assumptions that most of Utah would be barren, rocky, and boring, perhaps occasionally offset with a hint of splendor that might stop a yawn. We couldn’t have been more surprised, especially the breathtaking vistas of the national parks: Bryce, Arches, and especially Zion. Eventually it became commonplace to round a curve always to be stunned again by the colors, strata, and fascination of various geographic formations. A palpable sense of astonishment, joy, and anticipation permeated our front-seat conversations as we became more acquainted with the wonders of Utah.
Is it possible that the people of God were on a journey to Zion thinking it was just going to be Utah? Then, they actually experienced UTAH—followed by songs of joy and celebration to mark their arrival.
Anticipate the surprise of joy when keeping company with God.
Ed Rotz works with PastorServe, a coaching network to strengthen pastors. He served The Wesleyan Church for forty-five years as a pastor and district superintendent.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.