Streams in the Wasteland

blog dryness god's grace living water Feb 16, 2022

Many years ago, as Alan and I (Gem) were praying together, I imagined a cracked desert floor spreading out in all directions. Someone poured a glass of water onto the parched ground. Once the water hit the dry terrain, it disappeared…it completely soaked into the dryness.


Not sure why I was seeing this image, I asked Alan if any scripture passages had been especially meaningful to him recently. He shared that he had been spending time in Isaiah 43 that week and how it had really struck him. He read the chapter out loud. Here is a portion:


“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert 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 43:18-21)


When Alan got to the part about the streams in the wasteland, I started laughing out loud. The freedom I felt from hearing these words was wonderful. God is the one who provides the way for us. This scripture along with the dry desert image met up and caused an eruption of joy within me.


To me, the image of the glass of water being poured onto the hard ground represented my own feeble efforts. In this parched and weary culture in which we live, my efforts seem to be no more than eight ounces of water poured onto Death Valley.


It is the Lord himself who brings the streams in the wasteland. Can you picture that desert? Can you feel that dryness? Most of us have at least one area in our lives that feels like a wasteland.


Now picture this: Out on the horizon of the desert you see water rushing toward you so swiftly that it is breaking up the ground and creating a river. God blasts through the middle of the parched land with a stream of cool, refreshing water that brings life right up to your toes. How does that feel?


Sometimes we find ourselves in a wilderness season that seems never-ending. Sometimes “a dry and weary land where there is no water” lasts longer than we want (see Psalm 63:1).


But…Jesus is still our living water. We can hope in him. We can bring our thirst to him. We can bring our desert to him. Jesus experienced the wilderness, and we can be with him there.


So, go ahead and hold on to that vision of streams in the wasteland. God gives grace to his people, his chosen ones, so that we may proclaim his praise.



  • How are you experiencing dryness these days? Is there one area of your life that feels like parched ground with no water in sight?
  • What would the experience of “streams in the wasteland” look like for you right now?
  • Ask Jesus to meet you in the desert. Experience his presence with you.



Photo by Chelsea Bock on Unsplash