Streams in the Wasteland

Downpours

Has your life lately been like a parched wasteland, with a barren expanse where there used to be abundant water? Has life come upon you or your loved ones like a torrential storm, ready to engulf you and overwhelm any hope of getting back to “normal”?

God is more than able to use those types of situations to whisper His presence to you in the midst of it all, so that the very downpour that would flood your sensibilities can provide the solutions to fix your most pressing needs.

This reminds me of a post from earlier in this past year (https://manna.shiningriver.com/streams-of-mercy-part-2/), and I want to expand on it here with some scriptures as we enter the New Year.

Parched and Barren

I noticed while driving the back roads in our area of north Jersey a month or so ago that the late autumn had left some ponds and streams looking parched and barren, with scarcely any water in them.

Unlike most years, we have yet to have any snow (although we may have some over the coming weekend). We also had not had a great amount of rain in recent months. BUT more recently, there were a couple of very large downpours that caused some local flooding (one very noticeably a couple weeks ago).

Full to the Brim

While driving after that storm, I was struck how all at once the reservoirs, ponds and brooks were suddenly full to the brim again. It only took one storm with several inches of rain. At the same time that the storm was causing flooding, it was also providing for our deep needs of sustenance (water) to be met. God can and will use situations that seem quite “negative” in our eyes to provide very “positive” solutions that graciously meet our deepest needs. Some very encouraging scriptures from Isaiah speak beautifully along those lines. As we head into 2024, may we hearken to His voice in the midst of any barrenness in our lives.

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A New Thing

Isaiah 43:18-21 (NIV)
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise….”

Isaiah 41:17-18 (NIV)
“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs….”

Isaiah 44:3-5 (NIV)
“… For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. One will say ‘I belong to the Lord’; and another will call hiself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’S’, and will take the name Israel….”

As our eyes turn to Jesus in the midst of our times of struggle, may He pour His abundant provision down into our lives and those of our loved ones. May He cause His life to spring up where we were convinced all was lost. NOTHING is beyond our Lord’s ability to provide, sustain and refresh. As we turn our hearts to Him, may He make His abundant Life apparent, by His grace and kindness.

Amen.

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