Reading (Isaiah 55:1, 6-9, 12-13)
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
I love tulips, they are such a bright addition in our gardens at the moment. Each autumn I plant out tulip bulbs in my flower beds and also in pots and by the time they flower the following April and May I have completely forgotten which colours I planted and so it always comes as a wonderful surprise to me when they open up. Florists and supermarkets also have a bountiful supply of tulips at the moment and so while doing mum’s shopping the other week I picked her up some. She put them in a lovely ceramic vase that she has and for almost a week they were lovely, then one day they simply went from being upright and open to collapsed and drooping.
What had happened was that the tulips had simply run out of water. As they were in a ceramic vase we had not seen that the level of water had been dropping and so finally when they drooped we found that they had no water in the vase at all, they had used up all that they had been given. Mum filled the vase up again with water and we did not expect the tulips to recover, we thought that they had gone too far, but to our delight they did; as they took on board the water they were able to stand upright again.
April has been a particularly dry month, we seemed to have completely missed out on the April showers that we would have expected and so the plants in our gardens are beginning to suffer from a lack of water, just as the tulips did in the vase.
It is no surprise that there are so many references to water in the bible and of our need of it. In Isaiah chapter 55 we find a call for the thirsty to come to water, to find the lord while we can and the result is that we shall go out with joy. I find this such an uplifting image, the transformation from being thirsty to being filled with joy. This only happens when we come to God, for it is the living water that he can provide that we need so we can go out with joy.
Lord, fill us again with your living water, so that as refreshed people we can go out into the world filled with joy.