I recently spoke with a friend who lives in another state, and he said, “I am listening to the rain on my roof. It has not rained for almost a month, and it sounds real good”.
We all need water to survive and thrive. When we have gone without it for a while and suffered through the effects of a drought, we can really appreciate the sense of relief that comes when the water returns.
There is another type of water, a living water, that feeds and sustains our souls and brings us back from periods of spiritual dryness. We all go through times when God feels far away, and our spirit seems desperate and empty. Sometimes these are just normal bumps in the road on our life journey, other times they are brought on by our own poor choices and direction.
Isaiah tells us that the Lord wants to help us with both types of dryness.
17 “The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water. Isaiah 41:17-18 NKJV
Isaiah brought his prophetic messages into a land that was devoid of true spirituality – the people were engaged in a futile pursuit of false gods and idols that could not give true life or sustenance, having turned their backs upon the Lord who had brought then into the good land. Nevertheless, the prophet spoke loving words of life to them, words with the power to restore and renew their land and their spirits if they would receive them
Hundreds of years later, Jesus walked that land bringing the good news of the kingdom of heaven. He would perform the ultimate sacrifice on the cross that would open the door to salvation, and the Holy Spirit would then be able to provide living water and sustenance for their souls.
Once when Jesus was thirsty, He came to a well and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink. She had been living far away from God, and Jesus knew all the details of her wayward life. But instead of condemning her, Jesus loved her, and spoke gently to her on the hope of salvation for all who turn to God.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 NKJV
Confused, the woman noted that Jesus didn’t even have a water jar – how could He give her living water?
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13 NKJV
As a result, the woman believed that Jesus was the Christ, and ran to get her fellow townspeople. Many of them who came also believed and were saved as a result of her loving action. She had been the town outcast, now she was its salvation.
Isaiah’s prophecy is being fulfilled today on many levels. Physically, the land of Israel brings a bountiful harvest to the world from land that was once dry and barren. Fresh water, hard work and ingenious irrigation methods have been some of the tools of this miracle.
This is also happening with the living water. God’s kingdom, which started in the land of Israel, is spreading throughout the whole world, bringing eternal life to dry and barren souls in every nation on the globe. The Messiah’s flowing Spirit is filling hearts, welling up to form a living spring in dry places. Pools of life-giving water are gathering, bringing hope in a desert wilderness and new life to all who seek it.
Have you gone through periods of spiritual dryness or drought? Perhaps you are going through one now.
These lonely episodes seem to occur at one time or another in almost everyone’s spiritual journey. Sometimes we know the reason, other times, we can only speculate why – perhaps God wants us to realize how much we truly need Him? In any event, they are only temporary conditions, and He wants to refresh and restore our souls to bring us closer and make us stronger than ever before in Him.
Lord, reach out to heal our spiritual dryness. Draw us close to You, our first love. Renew our spirits with Your spiritual water, and help us to thirst for a closer fellowship with You. Be our delight this day. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.