Isaiah 41:13, 17

13 For I am the Lord your God

   who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
   I will help you.

17 “The poor and needy search for water,
   but there is none;
   their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
   I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.


The prophet Isaiah’s collective writings reflect a glorious future for the world. A child will be born who will bring about an everlasting peace and completeness among all people. We know this child to be Jesus. In God’s perfect kingdom, there will be no unmet need for anyone.


But in today’s passage, Isaiah describes something dramatically out of alignment with that future, something that has stirred God’s mercy and compassion. God sees the poor and needy searching for water and there is no water to be found. This description is so well written, we not only hear the need, we feel it - “their tongues are parched with thirst.”


It could be that we should take this description at face value. Or, we can hear this passage with the idea that water is symbolic of another unmet need, possibly something we’re personally experiencing today. God sees our need, understands it, and responds with compassion.


What is the unmet need in your life that causes your soul to feel parched with thirst?


How do you think God is responding to you today? 


Holy God, thank you for your mercy and compassion and for noticing my unmet need today. Help me take hold of your hand when you take hold of mine. Lead me to serve the world and praise your name throughout this day. Amen.