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Seeds of the Kingdom

Streams in the Desert

by John Berry

16 January 2011

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I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19, NIV

Looking at the news recently I was amazed to see pictures of vast areas of Australia under water. It was said that an area the size of France and Germany together was struggling with major flooding. The last thing people in that region want at the moment is the promise of streams of water, yet actually one of the needs is for fresh water as so much is now contaminated.

It made me think of the passage in Isaiah where God promises His people streams in the desert, yet they were living in a very lush and well-watered part of Mesopotamia at the time. The problem was that the spiritual supply of water was contaminated, and God was promising a new refreshing from Himself – one that would result in blessing and fruitfulness and a release of praise from His people. In place of the desperate thirst for true refreshing, God would bring His people into a new relationship with Him, which would bring a deep satisfaction and fulfilment.

Many years ago I remember seeing a film called ‘The Living Desert’. I was very young at the time, and was quite disappointed as I had misread the title as ‘the Living Dessert’ and was hoping for a film about puddings! However it was a wonderful film showing how an apparent barren wasteland comes to vibrant life when the rain falls, as it did every few years in that place. Truly the streams in the desert produce a dramatic change.

All around us are areas of spiritual desert, even if under physical water. God’s promise to bring streams into wastelands encourages us to see that what is hidden may be ready to spring into life. Let’s have the eyes of faith which look for what God is about to do rather than being dismayed at what we actually see.

Prayer: Father thank You for the promises in Your word of times of refreshing and new life. We acknowledge our own need of Your living water in our lives and look with eager anticipation for those streams to break out in the lives of the thirsty people around us. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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