“He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky craig and made water flow down like rivers.” Psalm 78:14-16
When God’s people were living in the desert and needed water, He split the rocks open. He provided water as abundant as the seas and streams flowed like rivers down the rocky craig.
When it looks like you’re surrounded with nothing but rock, turn to him. He supplies living water from the most unlikely places.
Lord, split hard rocks open
where only you can go.
Break through barriers,
release silver streams,
let thirst-quenching waters flow.
Lord, split hard hearts open,
the inside—only you can know.
Cut through chains,
release the prisoner,
let your spirit then freely flow.
“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
“…Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.” Jeremiah 4:3
The days go quickly, the years fly by and we will not always have ground to plow. Opportunities come in windows of time that will eventually shut. Once open, soon-to-be-closed doors, will be sealed at some point.
Unplowed ground is a nursery waiting to happen—a field intended for growth. If unplowed ground sits dormant, it’s a grief of the saddest kind: the grief of what could have been. Purposes sit untilled. Precious gifts and talents remain tucked-away. Potential dries up and plans are sadly wasted.
Unplowed, never productive ground, weeps for seed to be sown. Seed to nurture. Seed to surround with warm earth-loving arms and unseen life-needed nutrients.
Has he given me land that’s just sitting there—unproductive for his kingdom? Has he given me a packet of seeds collecting dust on the shelf?
Show me, Lord. May every inch of ground and every tiny seed be used for your kingdom purposes.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back…” Isaiah 54:2
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient path, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'” Jeremiah 6:16
Years ago a friend shared the above passage with me as she was entering the empty nest stage of life and looking to God for direction.
Now my nest has emptied and I’d like to move forward in the way the Lord has for me. I’m standing at a crossroads and different options vie for my time and efforts.
Where’s the ancient path and what’s the good way? I trust that he’s going to show me as I follow him. I want his plan for the next stage and would like to invest in a kingdom that lasts forever. I cling to this heartbeat of truth—that God has a plan and purpose for me. That’s the ancient path and the good way I’d like to travel.
Lord, show me the good way, that I may walk in it. There is rest in the center of your will. Keep me there—wanting what you want.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Your love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
Flood waters are going to come. Rivers will rush through uninvited and unpredicted fires will burn. It’s the way of life.
Rather than elements of nature, it could be tough life issues we face. As much as we’d like to avoid the unexpected, sometimes there’s no way around it. The only thing to do is walk through.
We have one who walks through trials with us. He might teach us to swim through rough waters. We may learn to cling to the lifesaver during the flood. The heat might get uncomfortably hot—yet we’re changed for the better.
When rivers gush fast
And floods wreak havoc
When fires claim what was mine.
There’s one who walks with me
He fights battles for me
Mighty warrior, strong at my side.
“But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior…” Jeremiah 20:11
“You will not have to fight this battle…Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” II Chronicles 20:17
“…I will turn the desert into pools of water…I will put in the desert…the myrtle and the olive…so that people may see and know…that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Isaiah 41:18-20
If you find yourself in a dry place, take heart. A desert is a perfect venue for God to work. Though you may be exhausted, the Lord is a source of strength. Though thirsty, He is living water. The end of ourselves can be the beginning of His chance to plant something new and growing. Let go of what brought you to the desert and allow him to paint a new picture.
Dry times unrolled
are a canvas blank,
God’s hand to show.
A desert place
is wide open space,
saplings to grow.
“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.” Isaiah 43:18-19
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9
God doesn’t operate like we do. His thoughts aren’t our thoughts and his ways aren’t our ways. There’s no figuring him out. But he has given us the word that we might know him, as much as our finite minds can grasp.
The thoughts of God
no man can know—
higher than the heavens
and unlike my own.
The ways of the Lord,
who can discern?
The path of his footsteps—
impossible to learn.
But to those who seek
he willingly gives
his thoughts, his ways
his life—to live.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 19:13
“…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Timidity has been my lifelong, unwanted companion. Fear has been the third wheel. Together we’re content to be pasted on the wall. The back wall.
My natural weaknesses force me to depend on God. I have to allow him to be strong where I am weak. And he has been. He continues to deliver me from over-sensitive, self-conscious tendencies.
I can tell when the timidity returns—expressing thoughts becomes like driving on a gravel road full of pot holes and I simply go quiet. I’d rather write it than say it.
But where I am weak, he is strong. He helps me face the timidity and drive past the pot holes. Weak areas become places of the Lord’s strength.
Is there an area in which you feel insufficient? Is this weakness an ongoing challenge? Let the insufficiencies be a reminder to turn to the Lord for his strength. He longs to be strong where you are weak!