"God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness."
-Freda Hanbury Allen

Sunday, February 15, 2015


"The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in 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

        Faith. A gift. A shield. Provision and protection. There is such beauty in the grace of our loving, sovereign God who bestows what he requires, and provides for our protection. And in the midst of his generous abundance, praises those in whom he sees his gift on display. Faith. Belief. The gift and the appropriation. He gives faith. We choose whether or not we are going to walk in that faith, in the truth of who he is no matter what chaos and hurt is pressing sharply into our hearts.
        There is something about this life that seems to scream so much more loudly than the quiet whispers of truth that our souls know by heart. It clamors for our attention; it screeches and wails so it seems more real and palpable than the One who has promised to never leave us. But things are not always what they seem. He is here. He is who he says he is and will do what he has promised.
        "The Lord will guide you always..." Our God has a plan and he goes before us preparing the way. He reveals the next step when the way has been prepared and when he knows we are ready. He will provide the wisdom as we wait on him. He offers peace in the midst of the unknowns of our future because he has it all ordered to accomplish his good. He will lead and guide - first and foremost to himself, and then in the paths of righteousness that he has cleared before us. Hear his whisper above the din, "Believe. I will guide you always." He will provide a way and it will always lead us deeper and deeper into his heart.
        "He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame..."
Sun-scorched. Dry. Parched. Barren. Empty. Lifeless. This is where we get tripped up. It is here the fear starts creeping in and spreading like wild fire. Where the roar of the flames come so close to drowning out the quiet voice of peace gently speaking words of life into our hearts. We don't want promises that involve the sun-scorched land because we know it's out there and it's going to burn. We so badly don't want to hurt. We are so afraid of pain. But here is His voice dowsing the flames of fear, "I will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land." If we are willing to listen; if we choose to believe, we'll see that it is the land that is burned dry, not us. His promise is to satisfy our needs even while everything around us is shriveling and dying in the glare of brokenness. He will strengthen us and provide all that we need to thrive in the searing pain of the wasteland.
        "You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Could there be anything more beautiful than this when set against the sun-scorched land? It is promised that we will be vibrant beings, flourishing in the abundance of God's blessing in the midst of the barren land that surrounds us and seems endless. Cracks in the parched earth chase at our heels and the dry, hot air weighs heavy. We start believing we are part of the lifeless ground and begin to fade into it. But there is that voice, beckoning us back to truth, to himself, to life overflowing, to his promise. We are not our circumstances. We are not the pain. We are not arid, forlorn beings succumbing to our surroundings. When we believe God's promise we are a like a well-watered garden - full of life, lush with growth, overflowing with joy and yes, like a spring whose waters never fail. Why? Because that spring is the Holy Spirit.  As we live by faith, believing God is who he says he is and will do what he has promised, no matter how dry and barren the earth around us, the love and joy of the Spirit flow in and through us. We become an oasis in the sun-scorched land, offering hope and strength to others who are overwhelmed and tempted to be overcome by the wasteland.
         God always says what he means. He is faithful even when we are faithless, but how much we miss of Him when we let the fear-filled keening of the sun-scorched land drown out the magnificence of his presence, his truth and his promises, which are new every morning. "He will satisfy your needs...He will strengthen your frame...You will be like a well watered garden...You will be like a spring whose waters never fail...." You will be. We WILL be! Oh, by the grace of God, by the faith given by God, by choosing to believe in the Word of God and the heart of God, We will be!