I have two siblings, one of whom has lived in the UK for almost 5 years now. He and his wife moved there so they could travel, and they did a fantastic job of it. They hopped around Europe for years, spending all their free time in France, Italy, and Spain along with dozens of other places. Then, the UK went into lockdown, and they’ve spent the last year in their little London flat praying for opportunities to travel; but the lockdowns kept piling up. They’re moving back to the States this week, and though they’re excited to be closer to family, they are grieving a year of life that was taken from them.
I think that’s how a lot of us are feeling right now. We’re grieving all of the things we’ve lost; things like rights of passage, time with friends and family, and loved ones who have passed away. We are exhausted by uncertainty. We are all dried up.
I’m reminded of the vision God gave Ezekiel:
1“The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” -Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NIV)
The truth is that God is making things new in our lives, even in the desert. What we need to do is hydrate.
We are a thirsty species. In fact, humans are made up of about 60% water. I looked it up, and as a female adult, I should be taking in at least 11.5 cups of water a day. That’s a lot of water, y’all! We can only survive a few days without water.
But this thirst goes beyond our physical needs; we are thirsty spiritually as well. We thirst for love, purpose and, among other things, to feel in control. So when we’re suddenly uprooted and ripped from our normal way of being, we feel lost or forgotten. It’s like we are wandering around the desert searching for the life we once had. We don’t know which snakes are poisonous or not, but we’re pretty sure that the scorpion staring us down isn’t our friend. Either way, we’re parched.
But Isaiah 43:19 (ESV) says this, “Behold, I (God) am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
God longs to bring us life and make things new! But notice God doesn’t say he will take us OUT of the desert. Instead, He meets us right where we are: in the desert, in the dust, at our pile of bones, and turns those bones into flesh. He gives us water that can quench our deepest thirsts:
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” -John 4:13-14
The truth is that God is making things new in our lives, even in the desert. What we need to do is hydrate. Lean into Jesus through prayer, study the scriptures, dive deep into His love. Choose to rely on God for everything you need, and your cup will overflow with faith, hope and love.
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” -Isaiah 58:11(ESV)