"For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;"
Isaiah 44:3 (NIV)
A dry and thirsty land . . .
This time of year in California, all the grasses that looked like emerald velvet in February, turn a dusty gold, toasted to a dry crisp in the relentless sun. It has its own beauty, especially when contrasted with the deep green of the majestic oaks that grace the hillsides, but it is very dry.
Yesterday my family and I went for a hike (my idea) on an unfamiliar trail at the height of the afternoon sun, and I paid dearly for it. I am very sensitive to the heat, and I was unprepared for the sustained climb of this particular trail or the heat of the day and I wound up with a throbbing headache I have yet to completely shake loose.
I got to thinking about how thirsty I was up there, how dry and hot and dusty I felt. My desperation for water and cool shade was so intense, I could not go further without respite from the scorching sun above. I finally came to a place with a bench in the shade, where I could sit and catch my breath. I pulled out my blue bottle of cool water and savored every drop as if my life depended on it.
A dry and thirsty land . . . what a picture of a life or a nation without God! Everything the world grasps after turns out to be a mirage, more cruel for having looked like a beautiful, green oasis. The impact of the evil deception of an offer not fulfilled, a promise not kept, a guarantee broken is all around us as we see people devastated with the disappointment of finding that what they trusted was not real, it didn't come through in the end.
To our great blessing and relief, there is something better than a mirage, something truer than a fool's paradise, which God offers to all who are thirsty.
"He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; He brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers."
Psalm 78:15-16 (NIV)
God brought water out of the rock more than once for His people when they were in the dry and thirsty desert of their wandering, and He is still in the business of quenching thirst. I need the abundance of His water everyday, because life in this world is a desert life. But unlike the mirage of the enticements of this world, God's abundance is a true oasis, green and lush, overflowing with the clear, cool water of His Holy Spirit and the refreshing restoration found in His Word. If I must live in a desert, let me never stray from the wellspring of His unfailing love wherein my life is sustained.