All those who suffer from disease or despair, lift up your eyes to the hills and see from where your help will come. The prophet of the Lord is sent by God to the highest mountain to raise his voice and announce words of comfort and hope: "Do not fear; God is here in our midst." While these words echo from above, God is down on the ground, lovingly and tenderly caring for all God's hurting children. Like a concerned shepherd on the lookout for the least and the lost, God searches out those who are distressed and discouraged, gathers them up in God's loving embrace, and carries them through the dark valleys of life. We may be too tired or discouraged to long for God's promised coming, but the prophet assures us that God's longing for us never ceases. We are ever held in the embrace of God's love.
Isaiah 40:9-11 (NRSV)
9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"
10 See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.