Have you ever gone through a dry spell in your spiritual walk? A time where you felt like God was not listening to your prayers and His Word was simply not speaking to you like it used to? It seems that even the greatest of Christians go through difficult times – just look at David in the book of Psalms! But, why does this happen? Why would God allow these times of dryness to occur in our lives?
A few years ago I started something that has now become something of a tradition. About this time of year a local garden puts on a special sale, and every year since we moved into our current home, we have gone and picked out a new plant for our yard. We were going to get some blueberry bushes this year, but after learning that my wife plans on redesigning our entire side yard, including the removal of about eight well-entrenched thorn, I mean wild rose, bushes – I nixed that idea! So, we now currently have:
One of the things we were instructed to do was to make sure that the newly planted tree got plenty of water. To ensure this we ran a garden hose and sprinkler out to the tree. I placed it on the ground and was ready to go turn the water on. My beautiful Bride then requested that I move the sprinkler closer to the pear tree. I explained that I had placed it so the water could reach both the pear tree and the peach tree. I figured it was best to go ahead and water both trees at the same time. She, on the other hand, pointed out that we did not want to water the peach tree – it would not be good for it.
I was confused. Since when is it a bad idea to water a tree? I know that you can drown a plant by over watering it, as I have done plenty of that before. I know that you can under water a plant, as that I have also done numerous times. But why would you choose to not water a tree? Why would you deprive it of what it needs to grow?
My Beautiful Bride could see the complete look of confusion on my face, and she explained. The pear tree is new to the ground and it needs the extra water to help it firmly root itself in its new soil. The peach tree is growing well right now, but it is coming up on the winter season, and now is not a good time for it to have a lot of new growth. Right now it is time for it to rest. Simply put, it was not a season of growth for the peach tree.
My lack of knowledge in all things gardening is embarrassing, but I think that I got the point. All plants go through seasons of growth. Sometimes the plant is bursting forth with new buds of life. At other times, it seems to be barren, almost lacking completely in any growth whatsoever. But, both seasons are necessary, and the plant is still alive and growing.
There are times that we as Christians also go through seasons of growth. There are times that we are thriving in our spiritual lives. Times where it seems that our faith is growing by leaps and bounds. Where it seems that we just cannot get enough of God’s Word. But, then there are other times. Times where we feel that we are in a desert. Times where the blessings of God’s Word seem dry and distant. Times where we feel like we are not growing like we once did before.
Now it is entirely possible to be a dying tree. We can be diseased by our own sin and shriveling up at our roots. But, I am not thinking about facing those times. I am thinking of those going through a season where they are trying to live righteously, and are honestly seeking to know their Savior more. I am thinking of those that are reading the Scriptures, attending Church, and striving to learn and follow what God has for them. Why are there times that these people find themselves in a such a dry spell?
Perhaps it is because God knows when we are in an untimely season of growth. He knows what is best for us, and He knows that right now is not the time for watering. He knows that right now it is not a good time for growth. Now is a time to stand fast, to continue in the faith, to press on, and serve Him even though the water of His word seems scarce. Perhaps He knows that we need to see Him prove Himself faithful even in the dry seasons of life.
I believe that it is those that don’t give up in the dry season that are the most prepared when the rains fall. They have kept their roots firmly dug into the Word of God, and there they find the fountains of living water! They are ready for growth when the season of growth comes.
Have you ever gone through a spiritual dry spell? Is it an often occurring season for you? What have you found that helps you stay firmly rooted in the faith even when it is difficult? Let us know in the comments below!
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