walk in the word
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
More than just the seat of emotions, your heart represents the immaterial part of you that can know God—it’s the part that will live forever. Here Scripture teaches our hearts are like a garden. If you weed and water and tend your heart as Scripture instructs, you’ll experience a bumper crop of God’s grace in your life. Conversely, if you fail to care for your heart, it will become overgrown with weeds. Continued neglect will leave it lifeless, dry, and prone to erosion when storms inevitably come.
The best way to grow a lush and healthy garden is to keep it under the care of a master gardener. Isaiah is telling us the Lord will serve that role in us. Jesus removed any possible doubt about God’s interest when He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). When places of your life feel scorched and you’re weakly carrying yourself, our Father, like a wise gardener, is working to guide, satisfy, and strengthen.
And the most important ingredient for a healthy garden is water. Isaiah draws a beautiful parallel between what the Lord wants to do for us and what an unfailing spring provides for a garden—life. Jesus echoed this promise to the woman in Samaria when He said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Jesus offers to us a continual source of thirst-quenching, drought-ending, fruit-producing spiritual hydration for us.
Your great-grandparents may have told stories about a drought in the 1930’s when it didn’t rain for nine years. In the breadbasket of the country, our richest farmlands were turned into a “Dust Bowl.” In 1934, 34 states experienced severe droughts. On April 14, 1935, a day known as “Black Sunday,” the wind whipped across the parched farm land and blew up the dust into an enormous “black blizzard” that whisked away countless acres of topsoil. Most of us have never experienced a true drought in our land. Sadly, we have those conditions too often in our spirits.
Maybe you’ve experienced some parched days in your relationship with God. Perhaps you’ve known the sadness of falling in exhaustion and watching through weary eyes as your heart for something or someone begins to shrivel. And maybe you’ve had seasons where time with the Lord was non-existent and weekend worship was “Black Sunday”—not because of the pastor or the people, but because of your internal drought.
As dry and desperate as those conditions are, they don’t have to be permanent. Hear this: “Times of refreshing can come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Our heavenly Father takes joy in turning gardens that look like lost causes into lush green places of growth.
You can experience the fresh rain of God’s grace and mercy upon your life. He made you that promise through Isaiah. You can feel a renewed surge of energy to labor for our King. Your eyes can gaze in new wonder and awe upon the God who loves you. The heart that beats within your chest this moment can pulse with renewed joy given by the Lord. God is not reluctant; He is ready and willing. Invite Him to be the master gardener of your heart (John 15:1).
How is your garden looking today?
What is some of the cultivating the Lord has been working in you?
Lord, thank You for showing me You are not only the master gardener but also the patient gardener. Forgive me for the times when I’ve let my garden get overrun with weeds, pests, and scorched earth. Thank You for the firm and gracious way You pull weeds, break up the soil, water my soul, and bring joy to me. Under Your care, all things grow as they should, in Your time. You care for my garden and, to my amazement, take time to meet and walk with me in every corner of my life. Thank You. I can hardly wait to see what You will do next, but do Your work in me, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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