“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” –Isaiah 58:11, NIV
Oh, how I needed to read these verses this morning! They’re just perfect for a Monday—don’t you think? Especially for a Monday after week like the one just past: I was so sick last week! My poor husband kept looking at me in confusion and saying, “But you don’t get sick.”
It’s true. I don’t. Not usually. But last week I did and nothing I tried to do to hurry myself well again would work. I drank tea by the gallon, ran on my treadmill, took Vitamin C, ate healthy—mostly, and firmly told myself not to be sick. I laughed one evening when my husband and I were watching a television show about a virus that was claiming victims one by one. The main character looked at herself in the mirror and said, “I will not be sick.”
I said, “Give it up, Honey. I tried that. You’re doomed.” I was right. She got sick, too.
At least I didn’t get what she got! I guess things can always be worse.
Sometimes our bodies just have to ride illnesses out. On the bright side, these illnesses, if they’re minor ones like sinus infections or colds, force us to rest and relax—they actually give us permission to do so as they insist on it! I didn’t reach my writing goals for the week and missed attending Bible study, but I got lots of reading done and enjoyed catching up on the US Figure Skating Championships. I’m ready to watch the Olympics now; I know what’s going on.
That said, this week I’m feeling mostly better, so Isaiah 58:11 encouraged me greatly. I hope it will encourage you, too! God’s given us some beautiful promises for the start of a new week:
1. He will guide us always. As I begin to feel better, I long to dig into all the projects I had to neglect last week all at once. Trying to do so will only defeat me—and maybe cause a relapse. I’m thankful God is there to help me prioritize as I complete one task at a time. God doesn’t only guide us through the big decisions of life. If we’ll let Him, He’ll guide us through our daily decisions, too.
2. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land. My land is currently covered in frost, but God will meet my needs here, too. He knows our needs better than we do; we can trust Him to provide.
3. He will strengthen our frames. Aren’t you glad God made our bodies able to heal themselves most of the time? As I am recovering from this recent illness, I’m looking forward to running again in a few days, rebuilding endurance and strength. I realize, though, that God, in His perfect, yet often mysterious wisdom, doesn’t always grant physical healing. Even so He does always give strength. He will always provide all the strength we need to accomplish His purposes for our lives. We can count on this.
4. He will make us like well-watered gardens. Gardens are fruitful, beautiful, pleasant, temperate, inviting, and peaceful. In the Bible, gardens are often places where people meet with God. Therefore, the promise of Isaiah 58:11 assures us that God will make us into people He can use to draw others to Himself whether He does this in social situations, through writing projects, in random encounters, or in our homes. When we devote our lives to God, He uses them to invite others to meet with and get to know Him, too.
5. He will make us like springs whose waters never fail. This is closely related to the promise of the well-watered garden. Jesus is the Living Water. God promises He’ll flow through us. If I really think about that picture, that means we’re simply the ruts in the ground that carry the real Water. But that Water is essential for life—for eternal life, for abundant life, for really-real, genuine life. (The redundancy there is intentional: life defined does not exist without Christ!) Therefore, let’s be happy to let God form us into springs that carry the Water of Life.
As always, I invite you join me in meditating on or memorizing Isaiah 58:11 to firmly get it placed on your mind. The more Scripture we put in our heads, the more God’s Spirit can use to help us on our journey through each day.
Father, thank You for the promises of Isaiah 58:11. Help us to absorb their Truth as we reflect on them this week. As You keep these promises, we know You’re making us into people who honor and glorify You. Thank You, Lord! Amen.