Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”Isaiah 30:20-21
The last year there have been times I’ve felt I’ve been in a fog so thick the only option was to place my feet on the floor and walk daily into the same routine. Perhaps you can relate? Has it been a year of weathering relentless waves that threaten to pull you into their undertow?
The dawn of spring brings new hope, but as the fog ebbs, the wreckage of a year spent in survival mode appears. We’ve been dealing with the bread of adversity, the water of affliction. What do we have to learn from these teachers? What is our way forward?
God has already made the way clear to us, through his prophets and through Jesus. Micah says the Lord requires us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. Jesus says all the prophets and the law can be summed up in this: Love God and love others.
The whole world has suffered—and is still suffering—the pains of a pandemic, eating the bread of adversity, drowning in the waters of affliction. As we emerge tentative into the bright light of hope, let us tune our ears to the voice behind us, guiding us to walk in the ways of the Lord.
It begins with a cry for help. Send up your prayers. As soon as he hears, he will answer you. “This is the way; walk in it.”
Points of Reflection
- What bread of adversity or waters of affliction have you experienced this past year? Journal these or pray them to the Lord. Lament is a spiritual practice, and we have much to lament.
- What does the Lord require of you today that maybe feels a little hard or uncomfortable or unclear? How can justice, mercy, or humility give you guidance in this matter?
For the Kids
- When you reflect on the last year, what things were especially hard? How did God show you the way through?
- What do you think it means to be able to know that whichever way you turn, there’s a voice saying to “walk in it”?
Faith / Works
A labyrinth is a maze or garden designed to physically walk through a meditation with the Lord. Find a labyrinth near you or take a walk in a park you haven’t been to before, and meditate on the challenges this past year has presented. What might you need to confess to him? What might you need to receive from God? What does God have for you in this coming season?
Do you struggle to know how to walk authentically as a Christian who has suffered loss? You might find a friend in Jacqueline Bussie. In Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the ‘Rules,’ Bussie “gives concrete, practical strategies to help readers cultivate hope, seek joy, practice accompaniment, compost their pain, and rediscover the spiritual practice of lament.”
Listen or read online through your local library’s Libby app, or buy on Amazon or through a local independent bookstore near you.