“And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11 (NASB)
Anger and pain are often associated with feelings and adjectives associated with heat. When a personal or business relationship fails, you may feel as if you’ve been “burned”. Your face may flush red with heat when you are angry, probably the origin of the term “hot head” for someone who is mad. If someone infuriates you, they may “burn you up”. When your heart is broken, you may think that it has been seared and you might never survive the scars to love again. Another phrase that comes to mind when we are bone-tired and weary is “burned out”.
Our God knows our pain. He understands.
Recently while reading Isaiah 58:11 I was struck by the promise that God will satisfy my desire in scorched places and give strength to my bones. In the original Hebrew, the word scorched is also translated as parched land or drought. And yet the primitive root of that word is a verb that means to be dazzling, aglow. In Ezekiel 37, the Lord brings dry bones back to life, which ties into His promise here in Isaiah to give strength to your bones.
There have been times when I have been burned, seared, and burned out… where my heart was numb and my bones were weary unto death… and God was there. In the midst of it, even as I was “going through the fire”, He never left my side. He has been faithful, and taken me through it – not out of it – but through it. Instead of allowing me to hide or self-medicate to deaden the pain, He held me while together we sat with the pain. It taught me lessons I never could have learned in a textbook, and has made me stronger. Since then I can honestly say my heart has been reignited with life by His love for me – He never let the spark die. And while I am sure there will be times ahead where I will again have to “walk through the fire”, I can be assured and at peace because His promises do not fail, and He remains faithful to His Word… and His love truly endures forever.
I have learned that if He calls us to the scorching place, it is only to purify us as gold, to teach us, and to make us more into His likeness.