“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV)
I closed my eyes, and warm tears slipped down my face onto my pillow. I knew I should pray but quite honestly, I just couldn’t find the words. I could hear the kids fighting in the kitchen. More evidence I wasn’t measuring up. I knew I should get up and address whatever was causing the chaos between them, but I just didn’t have it in me. Not that day.
I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t know who to call.
I didn’t know how to pray and get some sort of answer from God.
And I certainly didn’t have a clue how to find something relatable to read in the Bible.
This is the desperate place I was in during the early days of my family. And while I knew I needed to connect with God’s truth, I honestly had no clue how much He was offering me. I simply wanted Him to rain down “right now” wisdom and refreshment. But God’s Word offers us so much more. Scripture also supplies us with seed for our future.
We see this powerful truth in Isaiah 55:10-11, which says:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
This water imagery would have been quite significant to the people of Israel. Because of where they lived, they were heavily dependent on seasonal rains for water. Water simply wasn’t as easily accessible to them as it was for other nations like the Egyptians with the Nile River.
Of course, I don’t think there was anything coincidental about their location or their dependence on the seasonal rains. The Israelites’ need to depend on God for physical sustenance and satisfaction would have served as a continual reminder of their need to depend upon Him spiritually as well.
I also want us to note that the Israelites didn’t just need the rain for immediate relief for themselves or nourishment for their plants. The rains served a dual purpose — enabling the crops to flourish in that year for food, as well as enabling the crops to produce the seeds necessary for the following year. The water provided not only sustenance for the present but assurance for the future.
How like the Word of God!
Scripture, like rain, brings us immediate nourishment and refreshment for our present circumstances (Psalm 19:7-10), but it also plants seeds to sustain us in the future (Isaiah 55:10). God already sees everything coming our way, and that means He knows exactly how to begin preparing our hearts today.
Sadly, though, the references to hunger and thirst we find at the beginning of this passage reveal the Israelites had not been turning to God or His Word as their source of wisdom and satisfaction (Isaiah 55:1-2). This is where we must make one important distinction between plants and people. When rain falls, plants are automatically nourished. We, however, are quite different. In our relationship with God, responding and receiving is our responsibility. We must choose to receive His truth and His grace.
Oh, friends. Let’s not miss out on all God is offering.
If I could go back and gently encourage my younger self in that desperate season, this is what I would say: Open up His Word, Lysa. Open it up on the days you feel like it and on the days you’re just not sure you can. Read it. Receive it. Let it soak deep into your soul.
Like my friend Kimberly Henderson says, “Some days God’s Word is going to feed us right away like bread, and other days it might feel more like holding onto seeds. Words that we may not grasp why we need them just yet but that still should be deposited in our hearts so they can grow.”
Yes. Being in God’s Word is more vital than we can possibly begin to know — both for our todays and our tomorrows.
Father God, I’m so amazed by the ways Your Word is both the perfect provision for today and the exact preparation I need for all of my tomorrows. I don’t ever want to take the gift of Your Word for granted. I want to accept the gift, open the gift and use the gift. Every single day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
Do you tend to look at spending time in Scripture as a gift or just one more thing on an already-long to-do list? How can you approach God’s Word like a gift this week? Join in the conversation here.
© 2020 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.