The desert and the dry ground will be glad. The dry places will be full of joy. Flowers will grow there. Like the first crocus in the spring,
the desert will bloom with flowers. It will be very glad and shout with joy. The glorious beauty of Lebanon will be given to it. It will be as beautiful as the rich lands of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the glory of the Lord. They will see the beauty of our God.
Strengthen the hands of those who are weak. Help those whose knees give way.
Say to those whose hearts are afraid, "Be strong. Do not fear. Your God will come. He will pay your enemies back. He will come to save you."
Then the eyes of those who are blind will be opened. The ears of those who can't hear will be unplugged.
Those who can't walk will leap like a deer. And those who can't speak will shout with joy. Water will pour out in dry places. Streams will flow in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool of water. The thirsty ground will become bubbling springs. In the places where wild dogs once lay down, tall grass and papyrus will grow.
A wide road will go through the land. It will be called The Way of Holiness. Only those who are pure and clean can travel on it. Only those who lead a holy life can use it. Evil and foolish people can't walk on it.
No lions will use it. No wild animals will be on it. None of them will be there. Only people who have been set free will walk on it.
Those the LORD has saved will return to their land. They will sing as they enter the city of Zion. Joy that lasts forever will be like beautiful crowns on their heads. They will be filled with gladness and joy. Sorrow and sighing will be gone.