“The Three Magi” by József Koszta
epiphany — 1. a revelatory manifestation of a divine being. 2. a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something, a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization
The Magi had to cross the desert to reach Bethlehem, to reach Jesus. Joseph and Mary will have to suddenly leave in the middle of the night and go into the desert of Egypt. Even Jesus himself did not avoid going into the desert after his baptism.
It seems we have to venture into the desert to reach a deeper connection with God, to learn the reality or essence of that connection.
“Much-Afraid,” he said, “all of my servants on their way to the High Places have had to make this detour through the desert. It is called ‘The furnace of Egypt, and an horror of great darkness’ (Gen 15:12, 17). Here they learned many things which otherwise they would have known nothing about.
“Abraham was the first of my servants to come this way, and this pyramid was hoary with age when he first looked upon it. Then came Joseph, with tears and anguish of heart, and looked upon it too and learned the lesson of the furnace of fire. Since that time an endless succession of my people have come this way. They came to learn the secret of royalty, and now you are here, Much-Afraid. You, too, are in the line of succession. It is a great privilege, and if you will, you also may learn the lesson of the furnace and of the great darkness just as surely as did those before you. Those who come down to the furnace go on their way afterwards as royal men and women, princes and princesses of the Royal Line.”
— Hannah Hurnard, Hind’s Feet on High Places
Don’t fear the desert. God is there too, with you, as you cross it. Just remember what the Magi met on the other side. The path through the desert leads to epiphany.