Water in the Desert

A few weeks ago, I attended a Prayer Retreat at my church, and a passage of Scripture was read to us that has stuck in my mind ever since.

It’s the story about Moses striking a rock and water miraculously coming out of it.

The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephicim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?”

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

God goes on to provide for them, and water rushes out from a rock, but there was something before this that struck me as being very interesting: God led them to this camping spot.

He knew there was no water there.

And He didn’t do it because He had any intention of leaving them to die in the desert.

He put them right where He wanted them, which happened to be in a spot with no water – and then He provided it for them.

How often have I found myself in a situation where there wasn’t any water? I get stressed and frustrated, sometimes even fearful, because I don’t want to die in this desert. I see no way out of the predicament.

But how often have I also received the miracle of water rushing from that rock, where there was none before? How often does God make a way where there seems to be no way?

At the Prayer Retreat, my pastor provided a bunch of rocks for us to take as a reminder of whatever God might be saying to us through that passage. I put it on a shelf by my bed when I got home, and I see it every morning, and every evening.


Whenever I catch sight of it, I still seem to be catching my breath a bit – the idea that even in the driest, most impossible circumstances, there is the possibility of miraculous water.

It’s changing the way that I pray. I spot that rock on my shelf, and I start asking for the eyes to see the miracle. I’m reminded to look for it, rather than jump to the conclusion that because it’s not right there, it won’t ever be there.

He’s waiting, and He has no intention of leaving me to die in the desert – the water will burst forth! Watching and waiting in faith seems much better that complaining and despairing!

In what area of your life are you waiting for water today?

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