The Covid pandemic, racial tension, and political division provide us much to reflect on during this Lent season. For many of us, this may feel like a dry place as we witness death and despair on such a large scale. The message found in Isaiah 58:11 is one of assurance in the presence, protection, and provisions of God. We can find strength in our past experiences and the testimony of others that God can and will water our dry places.
After reading the passage, I thought about my mother’s wilderness experience as a child. She suffered from a blood disease, spending much of her youth in the hospital. Furthermore, she was told that she would not have the ability to conceive children or live past the age of eighteen. She said something inside of her refused to believe the doctor’s report as she trusted God for assurance in this dry place. Today mother is seventy-two, with three children, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
As an adult, I found spiritual growth in the wilderness. I was faint at heart after several experiences that had me feeling all hope was lost. I said, ”if You did it for mom You can do it for me.” God changed the trajectory of my life from that moment so now I share as a witness of Isaiah’s message.
God is close to the brokenhearted and with us in our dry places. When we are victorious in droughts, God’s glory is evident and profitable for the body of Christ. In times of uncertainty, God is still at work giving water to those that thirst. The absence of church gathering prompted technological ideas for all to hear the Good News. The water continues to flow as the gospel is expanding to all four corners of the Earth.
Holy, all-knowing and almighty God, You are the Good Shepherd. Thank you for leading us through our dry spaces. God, you led saints before us to fountains of love, grace, and mercy. We trust, Father God, that you will do the same for those who trust You at Your Word. May our testimonies serve as strength for others in dry places. You are the true, living, loving God who will prosper us in even times of drought
Kennedy Gray is the youth minister at St. Peter’s UMC and a member of the SBC21 Committee