“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.
In a time where there are so many of us hurting and afraid with lingering questions about our own situations … one thing is certain. We are so very united in our tears. I’ve seen this to be true over and over again.
Watching God move hearts and shift mindsets as we link arms in the name of Jesus is breathtaking. No matter what, we are more unified than ever when we seek Him together.
And that’s why I want to invite you to join me for two special events I’ll be hosting in 2020: the Encounter Tour and The Word Alive.
At these conferences, we’ll laugh, learn and experience God’s presence in a powerful way. Most importantly, we’ll dig into His Word and understand how it truly applies to what we’re walking through.
For more information about locations and tickets:
click HERE for The Encounter Tour and HERE for The Word Alive.
I can’t wait to see you there.
I wish the Encounter Tour or the Word Alive events were offered in the midwest. Would you ever consider coming to Minneapolis?
Hi Linda – Lysa will be in Minnesota twice in 2020! You can view her full speaking schedule here: https://lysaterkeurst.com/speaking/ – have a great day! – Amanda, LT Ministry Team
Lysa, I needed this today. I am two months out from discovering my husband of 21 years has had multiple affairs. I have filed for divorce and am struggling to know how to deal with the pain and still be a good mom to our three kids, ages 15, 12 and 8. In the midst of wanting to give up completely, I know that God is calling me to trust Him and seek Him. Thank you for your writings which have helped me so tremendously in all of this.
I wish it was in some of the states like Nebraska. We seem to get overlooked. I was also wondering Lysa how do you choose what to read in scripture each day. Thank you for this timely post. So good.
Lysa – I’m not sure if you will actually see this and I wasn’t sure how else to contact you. I wanted to let you know that my daughter and I were at your speaking engagement in Omaha this past weekend. We have both read your books and done the studies that go with them. In the third session today you pointed at my daughter and asked for her name. Her name was Lindsey. As you were speaking words over her, telling her she was more than dust and broken bones, tears were streaming down my face. She has been so lost for so long and to hear you speak those words over her was nothing short of God orchestrating it all. She has been in bad situations, bad relationships, her marriage has seen its share of troubles, but through the words in your books, God has shown her she can survive it all. She was crying as you spoke to her. She will carry your words (I believe God’s words) with her forever. We got in the car to go home and she said to me, “Mom, thank you for the best birthday present ever!” I have prayed so long and hard for her and I saw today what words – God’s words- can do. I am crying as I write this because I feel so grateful and thankful that God orchestrated you to speak to her. We had a wonderful weekend together with the 1500 other sisters who attended. Worship was wonderful and your words gave hope to many. Thank you again so very much.
Wow, Laurie. This is amazing! Lysa doesn’t often do that, where she speaks specifically to one person in an audience. We’ll continue to pray for you and your family. – Amanda, LT Ministry Team
Our women’s Bible Study group wants to do one of your studies next. A large group of us will get to hear you at the Women of Joy conference this May but haven’t read any of your books yet. I’m having a hard time narrowing down the selection. If you only had one to choose from which one would you start with and why?
As always, so encouraging…..Thank you!
ps…any chance you will ever make it down to New Zealand?!?!
I’ve been with you in that place where I didn’t have a clue how to find something relatable to read in the Bible. During my first depressive episode I couldn’t focus, couldn’t think, couldn’t fight the fog in my head. Couldn’t read for more than a few seconds before losing my train of thought.
Until I rediscovered the Psalms. Suddenly I could read again, if only one Psalm at a time. I could feel the authors’ pain and confusion and God’s incomprehensible compassion.
Then came Job. The wonder and relief that a righteous man could voice his doubts and question God. The vivid example of how it feels to be surrounded by people who don’t understand some kinds of suffering.
These two books helped me express my doubts and confusion and pain before God. Second Corinthians provided a necessary antidote to the self-focus, a view of the big picture, of how our sufferings fit into God’s greater purposes. Especially 1:4: He “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God,” and 4:17: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (Adapted from my blog at https://thosewhoweep.blogspot.com/2019/10/scriptures-that-soothe-my-soul.html.)
Thank you for sharing the struggle, the encouragement, and the reminder that we’re not just reading for the present but also for the future. Even when it’s difficult to think and to focus, I need to keep reading.
I cannot wait to see you in Oak Grove, Mo next month! Your daily devotions feed my soul everyday! Thank you for inspiring me!