We know life is made up of seasons. As I’ve mentioned recently, our family went through a hard season of transition in moving from a comfy, quiet life in the Midwest, United States to living smack in the middle of a couple million people in Africa. But as I reflect, our comfy, quiet life in the Midwest wasn’t easy, either. It was full of long, exhausting days raising little babies, days of being a single mom while my husband pulled long 48 hour shifts with the EMS, dealing with smothering heat and suffocating loneliness. There were many times of wondering what I am doing here, feeling stuck, waiting to feel God’s anointing again.
It felt like Moses living in the desert, tending sheep, learning the value of hard work, walking out the blessing of family and marriage… but all the time wondering what the nagging feeling of destiny was all about. I knew God called us to be where we were, no questions about that. Often I went back to that place of certainty. But even my walk with God felt sort of dry, and my prayers like pebbles rolling around on dusty, hard ground. I grew in perseverance, and day by day grew in understanding how to raise my little family and enjoy our quiet life in the woods. During this time of about five years, I do not recall many great answers to prayer. I do remember many times of calling out to God, dry and desperate. Walking around our property listening to the leaves crunch under my feet, packing a baby on my hip, and trying not to get knocked down by our rambunctious Labrador, all the time searching for the presence of God. Trying to get excited about my butterfly bushes or lavender or irises that refused to respond to my half-hearted attempts at gardening the rocky, clay filled, hard, soil.
In fact, my attempts at gardening felt like my walk with God during this time. Full of rocks, clay, insects and squirrels undoing my hard work. Starting over the next day after the dog dug up my plants. Finally getting my flower box beautifully filled with lovely foliage and blossoms, only to have a week of blasting heat come and wither it to brown leaves. Trying to create beauty but fighting the land.
One of my favorite verses is from Psalm 1 which says, ‘He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.’
This is the man who takes his delight from the law of the Lord. Who purposefully removes himself from the counsel of the wicked, the way of sinners, and the seat of mockers. Someone who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord.
Our years on Cedar Bluff Ridge were a time set apart from a corrupt culture, where God trained me how to be a mother. They were a difficult, dry time when my spiritual roots had to go down quite deep to find water. They were a lonely time when I longed for intimate friendship and instead learned how to release my loneliness to the Lord and run to him. He created special times of connecting with kindred spirits along the way and those were like wells of sweet water.
This blog, DeepRoets, sprung up from that time. It is during the times of drought when a tree’s roots grow deep and strong. The deeper the roots the more drought resistant a tree is. The idea is that you want the water to soak in deep, forcing the roots to likewise have to go deep to get the water. If you water frequently and shallowly, the roots never have to go down deep to get water. Be sure that if you are going through dry time in your walk with God, he will provide times to quench your thirst and in doing that, water your roots.
Dry times in our lives force our spiritual roots to grow deep. To become anchored. So we can be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Do not despise small beginnings, or dry, hard times. God says to consider it pure joy in trials when our faith is tested because we are developing perseverance! Perseverance must finish its work so that you will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. God has a plan to create a mighty display of his splendor through your life. It will stand the test of time and be a haven for life and produce fruit in season.