Scripture: Isaiah 58-60
Key verses: (58:6, 11) to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke … satisfy your needs in parched places
Reflection: I have had several moments when I have been so thirsty I didn’t think I could get enough water. In El Salvador working on a Habitat House, after tamping down a dirt floor all day. Running the “Rocky” steps in Philadelphia with the middle school youth after hiking from the liberty bell, I was a bit dry. In a season of doubt and conflict in my church, I was in a parched place. After a loss that hurt deep in my heart, I needed someone to offer me just a glass of cold water.
“The Lord will satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you should be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58). Isaiah as a prophet touches the most barren and dry places of the people’s lives, hearts and souls and offers them nourishment. The Lord will satisfy your needs. The Lord knows your parched places, the places that feel like nothing can grow. It is a place that usually we abandon but it is in that place that the Lord will make our bones strong. It is in that place that that Lord will give us such life that we will become a spring of water.
In the parched places of my life, I could not have seen anything other than abandonment in the moment. It is not in my nature to just sit in those parched places and yet I do it. I sit there and feel all the feelings and notice whatever the moment unfolds. Sitting there long enough, I begin to feel stronger. In those parched places there was not an instant change and water flowed down in the form of unwavering faith, resolved relationships or loved ones returning from the grave but my needs were strangely or should I say mysteriously satisfied. God never promises that life will be easy but God promises to satisfy our needs in the parched places of our lives. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: Take a deep breath. Really deep. God offers us a drink of water with each breath we take. Throughout the day today, pause for a moment and take three deep breaths. Give thanks to God for the refreshment to whatever is parched in your life. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].