Fast 5: A Well Watered Garden
Tuesday lunch/afternoon — Read Isaiah 58:11
“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.”
The imagery in this verse could not be more captivating and this verse is all too fitting at this point as weare coming upon a day and a half in our fast together. The same language in verse 10 is used here as it isthe Lord that guides us and satisfies our desires as we pour ourselves out and satisfy the desires of the helpless and harassed. The Lord does not shy away from the fact that pouring ourselves out for others is often excruciating, referring to His people as being in “scorched places,” so often it can be rather dangerous.
This certainly does not mean, “go help others so you will feel better about yourself,” though that is sometimes the result. Rather, I think it means, “if you take this seriously you will be pushed to the limits and you may have to give all of your being until you are completely empty and may even despair of life.” Take for example the OT prophets who were persecuted and killed, Jesus with his anguish in the garden and his betrayal, and I think every book in the New Testament which at least alludes to suffering. The promise is that it is the Lord that fills us when we are empty. He makes our bones strong in the midst of scorched places. His food and water do not fail and he makes his people a spring of water that causes the surrounding community to flourish. During this time lets pray…
- that our body, the church, would bind together guided by the Spirit in all things and that we would be made strong—being able to fail one another yet recognizing that the Lord has been an unfailingwater to us and desires that we be the same
- for those in our church in the midst of difficult situations (e.g.: health problems, financial struggles, anxiety, broken relationships) that they would see the reality of how Christ uses his body to strengthen his body.
- that the Lord would cause us to flourish so that he would raise up laborers for His harvest