Strengthen feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come….”
Then…water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert…In the haunts where the jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
Isaiah 35:3-7 NIV
Water is currently on the forefront of our thoughts in the United States – some of us with too much “gushing forth” in Texas and Oklahoma, while others on the west coast watch their garden lands become “burning sand and thirsty ground” (Isaiah 35:7).
Papyrus, well-known for its water-loving culture and display of tufted greenery atop soaring stalks, stands tall among the Bible’s passages describing hope in God’s deliverance from desperate, parched, or overwhelming times. Papyrus tells us there is water in the landscape, and is highlighted in the Watering devotions of God’s Word for Gardeners Bible.
Papyrus without water is like hope without God — dead (Job 8:11 – 12). Papyrus plants require plenty of water to grow, drawing the analogy that hope in God and his Word is elemental (Psalm 119:43,49). From any other source hope might sprout for a short period but will eventually wither or disappoint.
—From “Source of Hope,” God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, page 580
We added the water-lover to the Plant Guide this week in case you want to add this signpost of the true source of hope to your home garden.
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
Job 8:11-12 NIV
Job’s journey through the stream of thoughts and emotions welling up from the devastation of his family, fortune, and physical health encourages us to spill it when we face similar situations. Every doubt, every anger, every frustration, every confusion, every way our lives have been diverted from the way we wanted—pour them out before God. In the context of hope and prayer, Job leads us to spill it.
Learn more about Papyrus in the Plants Guide:
© 2014 Shelley S. Cramm Papyrus flowers close-up from the Rodef Shalom Biblical Garden in Pittsburgh, PA
©2010 Paolo Gamba at Flickr Creative Commons Papyrus from the Okawango delta with God’s Word from Isaiah