Life in my twenties was full of unexpected turns. One such incident was living with a hermit who lived in the Judean hills of Israel. This hermit was prescribed a daily injection of gold for her arthritis and she needed a nurse. As I was available at the time I moved in with her for a few weeks.
Her house was hidden from the tourist trail and built on a wooded slope just above a monastery. Underneath my bedroom was a cave where Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, had once been buried. This was John the Baptist’s very stamping ground, the place where he “grew and became strong in spirit.”
Every morning I went to fetch fresh water from an ancient spring nearby just as John would have done centuries before. And in this tranquil haven far from the frenzy of life I could still hear his voice crying out “In the desert prepare the way for Adonai! Make straight paths for him!”
I eventually moved away and the hermit died sometimes later, but John’s prophetic warning did not fade in my mind. And today, as we draw nearer to Yeshua’s* return, his words to Jewish and Gentile believers ring louder than ever: “Every valley must be filled in, every mountain and hill leveled off; the winding roads must be straightened and the rough ways made smooth. Then all humanity will see God’s deliverance.”
* Yeshua is the Hebrew name of Jesus.