Last Thursday we pondered these promises from Isaiah 58:11:
“The Lord will guide you always,” and
“He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land.”
Today, more discoveries and encouragement await as we meditate upon the last two promises:
- “[He] will strengthen your frame.”
- “You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Do you long for strength within your frame, that is, inner strength? Perhaps you’re moving as fast as you can, but never quite reaching the end of the to-do list. And you’re bone-weary from the effort.
Perhaps the stresses of life—difficult relationships, a high-pressure job, financial obligations—are squeezing in hard.
Perhaps boredom or depression surround you in a gray shroud, and you haven’t the energy to fight against them.
“He will strengthen your frame.”
But God doesn’t wave a magic wand over us and suddenly turn weakness into strength. Usually he invites us to be part of the process. And his solutions are radical.
For example, celebrate anything and everything (Philippians 4:4).
Take joy in:
- Your cozy robe to ward off the morning chill.
- That cute tuft of hair sticking up on your toddler’s head.
- A parking place opening up when and where you need it.
- Licking the stamp just as the mail carrier pulls up in her truck.
- An earring lost last week turns up between the counter and stove this week.
You see, joy and strength are closely related. Ezra told the people of Israel, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Those five examples above, and thousands like them, are gifts from your Heavenly Father. “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).
In the same way we can build up physical strength with exercise, we can build up spiritual strength with praise—by expressing gratitude and joy for every good and perfect gift.
And now, the last promise of this verse describes in metaphor the result of living according to God’s design.
“You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Visualize a flourishing garden, with rich, green plants overflowing with healthy, ripe produce.
Those can be descriptors of you and me. We are:
- Rich in God’s grace, which he has lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding (Ephesians 1:8).
- Green and flourishing, because we spend time with the Master Gardener and allow him to cultivate our spirits (Psalm 1:2-3).
- Healthy and prosperous of soul (v. 3). As we soak up God’s Word, we’ll produce actions and attitudes that honor God and bring us inner satisfaction.
- Ripe and mature, lacking in nothing (James 1:3).
God offers us “a continual source of thirst-quenching, drought-ending, fruit-producing, spiritual hydration” (James MacDonald).
Doesn’t that sound refreshing? Who could turn down such provision?
* * * * * * * * * *
Thank you, Father, for the precious assurances of these promises:
- You are leading me along the path you preordained before time began.
- Every day of this earthly journey I can count on you to supply my needs.
- Every day you provide fresh strength. One way is through the exercise of praise.
- As I spend time in your presence, I will be transformed–like a garden replenished by hydration. In fact, I can grow into your likeness with ever-increasing glory!
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is too lofty for me to attain.” Yet I know it to be true because these are truths from your reliable Word. My heart overflows with wonder and gratitude.
(Psalm 139:16; Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Psalm 139:6)