Your Light Rising in the Darkness – Flourishing
How many times have you misused the word “need” today? I work in a jewelry store and one of my normal statements about a piece I like is, “I think I need this in my life” with tongue in cheek of course. But I do really misuse “need” frequently.
“You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
We think we need so many things to survive but in reality, there are only a few things our bodies cannot survive without. One of those things is water. When space researchers checked out Mars and Venus, the first thing they looked for was water. When the US population was spreading westward, they looked for water sources on the land before choosing a place to build.
Water is life sustaining. Without it, everything dies. With an ample supply, life flourishes. Think about the difference in a desert and a rainforest.
We Are Spiritual Beings
Think about the past 8 days of our study in Isaiah 58. Let’s look at verse 11b from a spiritual perspective instead of a physical one. Why? Because God is Spirit and we are spirit.
Now to the verse:
“You will be like a well-watered garden… “
This description is not that of a rainforest where everything grows out of control, but a place tended and subdued as needed and cared for with an overall plan in mind. The main ingredient is the one mentioned: water.
If you have ever visited a hydroponic garden you have seen a garden grown with artificial light, a heating system, and a soil substitute. However, they still must water the [lants for them to flourish!
“…like a spring whose waters never fail.”
We tend to take this natural resource for granted in a place like Maine. Think of there suddenly being no water.
If we seek the Lord sacrificially, we can have water, Living Water, in abundant supply. This supply will never ever run out.
When I was a kid, I remember our well running dry. Someone left the hose on or something. I am not sure about the details, but I remember that because it was spring-fed, we only had to wait a few hours to have water once more.
This Living Water supply will never, ever run dry. You may take your bucket and try to keep it full, but to flourish you must be tapped into this Living Water. (John 4:13-14)
Past Few Days
As we think back over the past 8 days, we can see that the blessing that comes to those who seek the Lord sacrificially – through prayer and fasting – are various and abundant. We must always remember that our motive must be to know and glorify God. I am reminded of the blessing that shines like the sun is the blessing of living, walking with and knowing Christ. Man-made “luxury”, man-made peace and man-made satisfaction are all counterfeit and pale in comparison to the real thing. Real luxury, peace, and satisfaction come from having an intimate relationship with Christ. To the eye and possibly the bare feet, few things are more luxurious, more peaceful, or more satisfying than standing on the rich, green lawn in a well-watered, well-tended, and well-planned garden in late spring. Can you picture it in your mind?
Diamonds or Cubic Zirconia
One day at work I asked one of the owners of the store I work in, to help me see the difference between a diamond and a cubic Zirconia which is a very inexpensive manufactured diamond substitute. He had me look at both. The diamond had some marks/flaws in it, called inclusions. That is one difference – CZs do not have inclusions. Then he used a very interesting term to describe the difference. He said, “Do you see how flat the CZ looks? You can see the life in the diamond?” I love this! There is life in the real thing!
We have samples at the store that we can show so that people can imagine what a ring will look like with real gold and real diamond. The CZs are placeholders for the real diamonds. The counterfeit life with satisfaction, peace, and luxury is a placeholder for real life in God. His satisfaction, peace, and luxurious love cannot be effectively imagined and it cannot be effectively substituted.
The Best Part
The best part: This life with Him will never end! When our life here on earth is done, we get to go live with Him in heaven forever. Living a life, surrendered to God through the saving action of Jesus Christ on the cross, to work out forgiveness for our sins, and our trust in Jesus as our Savior are how we start and continue this amazing authentic life. Life without Him is hopeless and meaningless. We were created for a higher purpose – the glory of God. That gives our lives meaning and purpose.
Life with the Master Gardener
This can be our life every single day! We can be that well-planned, well-tended, and well-watered garden if our hearts are ready for what the Master Gardener sees the need to do. Seeking Him with all our energy, we can know the reality of being like a well-watered garden for His glory.
I am sure you have heard of the Yard of the Month that a lot of garden clubs award. Who gets the glory for that beautiful yard? The gardener! Right! So who gets the glory if you are a well-watered garden – the Master Gardener!
When people see those beautiful Yard of the Month yards, what do they wish they had? One of the well-planned, well-tended, well-watered gardens for themselves.
So there you go! When we are well-watered gardens for God’s glory, others want in on that and that is your light rising in the darkness – flourishing!
May our lives be a display of the beauty of our amazing Master Gardener’s wonderful design and provision! May others look at our lives and want this authentic life. God certainly wants it for them!!
Thank You, Lord, for Your beautiful Word. I am so amazed at the beauty and life that You have for us in Your Word. Help us to allow You to work through these verses in Isaiah to make us what You want us to be. Help us to live in such a way that others want to know You. Please make us all completely Yours. Thank You so much for loving us. In Jesus holy and powerful name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: