River in the Wilderness by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

Is your life lacking variation right now because of COVID-19? Are you wishing this Coronavirus would die a quick death or go back to where it came from? You’re not alone, but we all have to remember that even in the midst of these difficult seasons, God can still provide something beautiful.

On Thursday I came across this verse in the Psalms: “He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland” (Psalm 105:41). The verse is referring to the scene in Numbers 20 when the Israelites camped in the wilderness of Zin and complained because there was no water to drink. God told Moses to speak to a rock and water would pour out, however Moses struck it twice instead. Water still gushed from the rock, but for disobeying God it did cost Moses an entry card into the Promised Land. That, however, is not the point I am making here. I never realized the water that poured out formed a river in the wilderness. I thought it was more like a garden hose that turned off and on or like a quick burst of tap water from the kitchen faucet. But according to Psalm 105, this gush of rock water formed a “river.”  A river in the wilderness.

It made me think about the rivers that I’ve experienced during this never-ending COVID-19 wilderness.

One river is simply the back yard that I love so much. Now that I’m home more, I have thanked the LORD numerous times that I have such a pretty view from my kitchen table where I work. It’s especially beautiful now that the Crepe Myrtle is blooming.

When I take my morning walks, the street is lined with Crepe Myrtles, my favorite trees. They’re a gift. Desert streams.

I am grateful for the river of marriage, and that I do not have to shelter alone—but if you are feeling alone for whatever reason, know that you are never alone—Jesus is always with you if you believe. “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’” (John 7:38).

I have also praised God for the river of “purpose,” as we are still doing our topical and evangelical POP Talk television and radio shows, this week reaching the 100 thousand mark on Facebook Live and going into a potential 133-million homes through the Faith Unveiled Network. That’s more like river rapids!

Then there are others I know who are experiencing a river in the wilderness. Yesterday, my friend and Christian Women in Media Founder, Suellen Roberts, got married to a wonderful man, Stan Burke. Stan was the teacher of her Sunday school class and she had recently become the director of the class. If it had not been for COVID-19, they probably wouldn’t have worked so closely and fallen for each other. A river of love.

I have a longtime friend who just told me she had contracted COVID-19. She felt really bad for one day, better the second day, then resumed her walks on the third day. That’s a river of healing.

How has God provided rivers for you during this season? Sometimes we are so focused on the wilderness that we miss the river.

Lord, will you help us to take our eyes off of everything bad and open our eyes to the good that you are working in the midst of the turmoil? Show us the rivers we can’t see and quench our thirst for hope.


We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

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