Updated: Sep 4
Our summer season has been hot and dry. The same conditions seem be extending into our fall as well. I don't ever remember having temperatures above 30 degrees C in September. While we may appreciate the warmth of the beautiful sun, without water, it can be most damaging. The earth is parched! Fires have scorched our forest and lack of rain has caused plants and crops to wither giving space for the weeds to thrive. My husband has a farm that produces carrot, turnip, beets, and potatoes. When we went to check the fields for weeding, we were disheartened to find that the carrot crop was failing. We did not have access to irrigation and the success of the crop was dependent upon the rain. Because of the dry conditions most carrots had not germinated, and those that did break through the ground were so small we could barely find them. The weeds, however, were plentiful and thriving. We had to accept the fact that it would be lost season for carrots this year. We were more fortunate with the beet and turnip crops but the picture to the left (bottom) shows that the ground is not lush and this is what was left in the ground for beets after we finished weeding the field.
People too have felt the ill effects of the extreme heat and have been cautious to ensure they stay hydrated and covered by the shade to prevent heat exhaustion and sunburn. During heat waves we seek reprieve from harsh conditions that are uncomfortable and unbearable. I can’t help but see the life lesson in this scenario.
Have you ever been in a situation in which you feel that conditions have sucked all the life from you leaving you withered? We all have seasons in life that don’t produce a desired outcome. Where can we go when life hits us with heat waves of hardship? Where can we find refuge and reprieve from the harsh conditions that wear us down and leave us feeling parched and lifeless? Where does one go for hydration and hope?
When we look at the solution for physical drought, we can find a parallel solution for spiritual drought. If we want our lives to thrive, we must ensure that we stay hydrated, shaded, and free from weeds. And just how can we do this? Well, scripture offers excellent teaching on how to thrive when life is less than optimal. God provided a book of wisdom, the bible, to guide us and teach us a way to follow that allows us to cope with the harshest of conditions. It doesn’t teach that life will be easy, but it does teach us how to live in all seasons of life.
So, what are the solutions for our personal seasons of drought?
1. Drink Living Water
A world without water would be lifeless. Alife without spiritual water is also lifeless. Water is essential to life! Like a spring of pure water, God's peace in our hearts brings cleasning adnd refreshment to our minds and bodies. Jesus once said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
This world promises us peace, joy, and satisfaction, if we pursue it’s fun and pleasure, but it fails to deliver on it’s promise. We drink from it's fountains but our wells run dry. Sure, there’s a certain level of peace, joy, and satisfaction to be experienced in our earthly existence but it is in limited supply. Sadly, the wells of this world leave us thirsty and longing for more. Where can we quench our thirst when we have exhausted all of our sources? Nothing can compare to the water that Jesus offers us. It sustains us! It provides us with courage, hope, and strength, to face life’s hardest battles. It never runs dry. When we need replenishing, we can always find a refreshing drink from His well of life.
2. Rest in the Shade
Shade can provide such a reprieve from intense heat. This summer I found myself frequently seeking shade under the huge juniper tree in our back yard. The temperature was always cooler there. When our lives face extreme conditions, we can find shelter and shade under the wings of a loving God.
Psalm 91: 1-2 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 121:5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
Isaiah 25:4-5 For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat.
3. Pull the Weeds
It is interesting how the weeds always seem to survive and even thrive in the worst of conditions. One day while out in the garden weeding, I began to think about how negative thoughts are like weeds. They often come to surface most easily as well when we are in a dry season of life. You know how it is, things go wrong, we face extreme challenges, and our first thoughts tend to be more discouraging than encouraging. The weeds of negativity take over an optimistic attitude. Of course, this reminds me of the story about the farmer who planted his seeds among thorns, which grew up and choked his plants. We must be careful to keep the soil of our hearts and minds free from thorns and weeds. Constantly maintain your garden of life to keep it flourishing!
4. Grow Deep Roots
"Most palnt roots are not sitting close to the soil surface. They have worked their way down into the soil, in search of water and nutrients. This helps protect the plant in times of drought becasue the soil surface will dry out much quicker than it will below the ground, where the soil is cooler. Roots will grow deep in hot seasons in search of water.” (www.thespruce.com)
There is a life lesson here too. Don’t be shallow people living on the surface with superficial values and relationships. If we are to grow and become stronger and healthier individuals, we too need to grow deep roots. We need to be connected to the deepest level of our identity and character. Then we need to go deeper still and be connected to God.
Do you want a faith that makes a real difference in your life?
Do you want a faith that helps you flourish through the storms and droughts of your life? A faith that strengthens you to fight any battle? A faith that comforts you through the most difficult trials?
Then, drink living water, rest in the shade, pull out the weeds of negativity, and grow deeper roots! Dig into your faith and develop it.
Go deeper in study, read the Bible, pray regularly, and learn to trust God.
Take a minute to evaluate your life against each of these. Where are you doing well and where do you need to make some improvements?
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