And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail (Isaiah 58:11, esv).
More than just the seat of emotions, your heart represents the immaterial part of you that can know God. It’s the part that will live forever. Here Scripture teaches that our hearts are like a garden. If you weed and water and tend your heart as this passage instructs, you’ll experience a bumper crop of God’s grace. Conversely, if you fail to care for your heart, it will be overrun with weeds. Continued neglect will leave it lifeless and barren of anything capable of bearing fruit.
The best way to grow a lush and healthy garden is to keep it under the care of a master gardener. Isaiah tells us the Lord will fulfill that role in us. Jesus confronted any doubts about God’s interest when He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). When parts of your life feel empty and scorched, when you’re barely surviving, our Father, like a wise gardener, is working to guide, satisfy, and strengthen you.
Isaiah draws a beautiful parallel between what the Lord wants to give us and what an unfailing spring provides for a garden—life. Jesus echoed this promise to the woman in Samaria when He said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Jesus offers a continual source of thirst-quenching, drought-ending, fruit-producing spiritual hydration for us.
You may have heard stories about the devastating nine-year drought in the 1930s that turned some of North America’s richest farmland into a Dust Bowl. One day in 1935, known as Black Sunday, the wind whipped across the parched ranches and fields, blowing up the dust into an enormous black blizzard and whisking away countless acres of topsoil. While most of us have never lived through a drought of this severity, sadly we have those conditions too often in our spirits.
Maybe you’ve experienced some parched days in your relationship with God. Perhaps you’ve known the sorrow of watching through weary eyes as your heart for something or someone begins to shrivel. And maybe you’ve had seasons where time with the Lord was non-existent and weekend worship was Black Sunday—not because of the pastor or the people, but because of your internal drought.
As dry and desperate as those conditions are, they don’t have to be permanent. Hear this: “Times of refreshing can come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:20). Our heavenly Father takes joy in turning gardens that look like lost causes into lush green places of growth.
You can experience the fresh rain of God’s grace and mercy upon your life. He made that promise through Isaiah. You can feel a surge of energy as your eyes gaze in new wonder and awe upon the God who loves you. The heart that beats within your chest can pulse with renewed joy given by the Lord. God is not reluctant; He is ready and willing. Invite Him to be the master gardener of your heart (John 15:1).
Lord, thank You for showing me You are not only the master gardener but also the patient gardener. Forgive me for the times when I’ve let my garden get overrun with weeds or become barren and scorched. Thank You for the firm and gracious way You pull what is unfruitful, break up the soil, water my soul, and bring me joy. Thank You for the truth that, under Your care, all things grow as they should, in Your time. Please do Your work in me, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.