Who would have ever dreamed we would one day pay for bottled water?
Natural spring water. Purified water. And now, the latest innovation: Vitamin Water. Zero calories. Full of electrolytes. A healthier alternative to sugar-infused sport drinks.
Latest innovation? Really? You, Lord, have been serving Megapower Vitamin Water for thousands of years!
“The wild animals honor Me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to My people, My chosen, the people I formed for Myself that they may proclaim My praise.” (Isaiah 43:20-21)
“… wild animals…”
I was wild once. Rebellious. Untamable. Distrustful… even hateful. Hateful of Authority, because those who had authority over me betrayed it and wounded me… almost to the point of death.
I became a Fighter. So I could be a Survivor. Never stopping to consider that the fortresses I built to keep my “enemies” at a “safe distance” would also become prisons in which I would starve… almost to the point of death.
“… honor Me…”
For so long, Lord, I didn’t know that was even possible. Where were You when all the terrible stuff happened? Why would You ever care about me after all the terrible stuff I did in response? Should I despise and/or hate You? Should I rail at You? Should I run from You in terror? Should I pretend I didn’t care about Your apparent indifference to me? How could the answer to every such question not be “YES”???
Oh, Abba… I was so blind back then…
“… the jackals and the owls…”
I think of jackals as clever, shrewd, shifty, vicious. I was all of those things once. And even they would honor You? Amazing! Amazing that they would see enough beyond themselves that honoring You would even occur to them. Amazing that, in light of who they were, You would receive anything they had to offer You.
Amazing that You would do the same for me.
I think of owls as wise; also, as nocturnal predators. I was always smart enough, I guess. But I don’t think I ever began to understand — much less grow in — wisdom until I met You, Lord.
And nocturnal? Yes, I lived in darkness before You. On both extremes of the spectrum. One extreme: Isolated. Depressed. Suicidal. The other extreme: Corporate “rock star” on top of the world. Self-promoting. Successful. Empty.
Even “predator” fit me. Sometimes, in my own woundedness, I tried to “get even” by hurting innocent bystanders who might have actually been sent there to help me. Except I didn’t know The Sender. And I was still so hurt, I couldn’t fathom the concept of Help.
Parents use this word a lot when giving directions. “Because I said so.” To which their children retort: “That’s not a reason!” But You, the Father of fathers, use it here in a more profound way that goes beyond mere reason.
“… because I provide…”
You provide even when we don’t deserve it. When we haven’t asked You for it. When we don’t appreciate it or thank You for it. You provide because it’s who You are. It’s what You choose to do for Your creation. For those You love.
“… water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland…”
That’s what Life here on Earth can be, at times. A wilderness. A wasteland. Dry. Barren. Devoid of beauty. Foreboding. Depressing. Hopeless.
But water — Your Water — in such a place? It quenches! Satisfies! Revives! Refreshes! Restores! Regenerates!
I have seen a real desert “explode” into bloom after a rare rainstorm. When the beauty is breathtaking… exquisite. I have seen my own internal deserts “explode” into bloom, too. When BEAUTY springs forth from ashes. When JOY flows out of mourning.
“… to give drink to My people, My chosen…”
I am Yours? I belong to You? You, the Creator and Lord of the Universe, who spoke the stars and planets out of nothing and then put them into place? Who said “Let there be…” and everything came to be?
You chose me? Because You saw the real me behnd the “jackal/owl” mask? You chose me… even before all of the bad stuff happened? And You stuck by Your choice… despite it? You chose me… so You could demonstrate through me that, with You, “impossible” things are possible after all?
Impossible things like Irrepressible Hope? Soul-nourishing Healing? Unspeakable Joy???
“… that they may proclaim My praise…”
I DO, Lord… and I WILL! For as long as I have breath in this earthly body!!! And then… FOREVER!!!
“Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life. I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” (Psalm 146:1-2)
“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!” (Psalm 147:1)
Megapower Vitamin Water. What’s the “secret” ingredient responsible for its power? Thankfully, it’s no secret at all…
VITAMIN JC!!! 🙂