Isaiah 58: 10-11
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness, and your gloom be as the noonday. 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.
To me, there are few things as refreshing and renewing as surrounding yourself with cool water, be it taking a shower, jumping into a swimming pool, or slowly backing up into the torrent of a waterfall. It’s not just cleansing: it feels like every pore in your body breathes a sigh of relief, and you close your eyes and just enjoy that moment. It has the effect as if the water flows through your skin, relaxes you muscles, mends your bones, and clears your mind. And when you step away from that water, you feel invigorated, and the cares you had before now seem a bit smaller and maybe easier to handle.
Let’s flip this situation a bit. Have you ever been some place hot and dry and out in the middle of nowhere? I’m not talking about the humidity we get here in Tennessee in the dead of August. I’m talking about dry heat, where the precipitation in the air is almost non-existent, and sweat evaporates as soon as it leaves your pores. Think Arizona or New Mexico, or if you happen to have ventured into a desert climate. If you don’t have water with you, thirst can make you desperate, because something to drink isn’t conveniently located. Your mouth starts to feel sandy. You feel the sun literally baking you slowly, and relief is not coming anytime soon.
I assume most people reading this have not been in this particular situation, unless you have traveled to certain locations like this. But there is a common feeling here with which we all can sympathize. We know what it’s like to be thirsty. We have felt that urge to satisfy the need for water.
To some people, life is a constant thirst that seems eternal. They are hungry, homeless, and feeling helpless, and the ability to quench those needs seems remote. The church is described as the hope of the world, but we can’t sit behind our church walls and expect the world to come to us. We have to meet the world and wash away the thirst of need. We need to be the water, to pour ourselves out for the hungry, to satisfy the desire of the afflicted.
But when we do this, does God leave us empty handed and dry? Absolutely not! Not only will you be a light in the darkness of those persons’ lives, but the Lord will satisfy your own thirst, your own hunger, so that your surplus of blessings will continue to pour out, permeating all those who are blessed by you. And the fountain that flows through you will continue to others, who will begin their own wellsprings and help even more people. It is a chain-reaction of the soothing, refreshing feeling of enveloping in the trust and love of our Savior. And the best thing: these waters never fail- ever!
What outreach ministries in your church call for the blessings in your life? Ask God to lead you where your strengths and talents can be used to the betterment of your church and community. Get involved in the new Recovery ministry, join a mission team, or volunteer for Family Promise. Become the spring of water that satisfies the thirst for Christ in your world.