2ND WEEK OF ADVENT
Streams will burst forth in the desert.
Have you ever been really thirsty? Perhaps you drained your water bottle during a long hike and found nowhere to refill it. Or maybe a violent storm cut off the water supply to your home. Whatever the problem, you would have been grateful at that point for the tiniest drop or sip.
In our first reading, God’s people were really thirsty. Buoyed by the hope of returning from exile, they faced a long road home that took them over the arid desert. But even greater than their physical thirst was their spiritual thirst for God and his blessings. Could they dare to hope that the God whom they had offended would sustain them along the way?
In response to their fears, the Lord promised that the parched land would bloom (Isaiah 35:1). Streams would burst forth from those barren lands, and the burning sands would become pools of clear, refreshing water (35:6-7). God would provide not just the tiniest sip, but more than they could ever think to ask for! The rivers of his grace would burst forth, offering them salvation and healing (35:4-6). They would mark out a clear and safe path back to Jerusalem and a joyful return to the One who had rescued them (35:8-10).
In the same way, God can answer your spiritual thirst beyond your expectations—even when it seems like you don’t deserve it. That’s because he is a God of mercy and compassion. The same God who came to earth as a child so long ago still wants to come to you each and every day. He still wants to heal you and restore you. He still wants to redeem you from all your sins and teach you how to live in his love.
So if you’re thirsty, go ahead and ask him for a drink—but don’t limit him. Just a small sip might do, but “just enough” is never enough for the Lord. No, he wants to give you nothing less than his own presence within you: his Spirit directing your paths, strengthening you against temptation, and filling you with love for him and for the people around you.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? All because God loves you.
“Holy Spirit, I am thirsting for you. Let your life well up within me.”