In today's reading from Isaiah, God promises to make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. We often focus on the life-giving aspects of this imagery of water, overlooking the unexpectedness and sometimes even violence of what Isaiah is saying. In reality, rivers in the desert are often created by flash floods, moving in unpredictable paths and sweeping logs, debris, and even living things downstream. Isaiah uses the words “springs forth” to reinforce the sudden nature of the change that God brings.
As those waiting for the life-giving water that God promises, we should remember that this change will not always be what we as humans expect or hope for. God’s change may challenge our beliefs, rather than reinforce them; it may upset the status quo instead of allowing life to continue as normal. Let us challenge ourselves to perceive the nourishment and life inside such unexpected changes.
Let us pray. Help us, O God, to perceive the “new thing” you are doing among us, and to follow in the way that your prepare for us. Amen.