Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Parched Earth

O God, you are my God.
    At dawn I search for you.
        My soul thirsts for you.
        My body longs for you
            in a dry, parched land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 ~ NIV

I don't know what it's like in your part of the country these days, but we're almost near drought conditions where I live.  Communities have instituted burning bans.  Neighbors are up early to water flowers lest they die.  One of our trees is actually so stressed that is beginning to lose leaves as if it is Autumn.  Most notably, lawns are looking as dry as mowed hay.

Predictably, my thoughts turn to God with this concrete example.  How often do our souls look like that parched earth?  My own spirit can easily become shriveled when not properly "watered".  And sadly, despite knowing better, this happens to the vast majority of us.

So how do we avoid our faith life assuming the appearance of an ugly, burned out lawn?  Three things are key:
  1. Saturate your soul with God's Word.  His promises, His instructions, His admonitions, His encouragement are all nutrition for the human spirit.  His words breathe life to us in our times of discouragement.  They fortify us for trials that lay ahead.  And we are far less apt to be blown around like dust in a dry wind if we are rooted in God.  Listening to His voice builds a relationship more lush than the greenest forest.
  2. Drench your time in prayer.  How can you have a healthy, thriving relationship with someone to whom you never speak?  Whether it's on your knees early in the morning, driving the kids around for the tenth time in a day, or waiting yet again at a doctor's office, you can speak to the One who loves you and can nourish your heart any time, anywhere.  You can be assured that your prayers will never go unanswered.  Those answers may come as "yes", "no" or "slow", but they will be sure to give you what you need exactly when you need it.
  3. Submerge yourself in relationships with others who build you up in the Lord.  God uses other sojourners in this world to pour into your life.  And He uses your life to pour into others.  There are at least a dozen different verses in the Bible using the words "one another," instructing us what to do.  We are to "love one another," "admonish one another," "strengthen one another," "encourage one another," and so on.  In other words, while people can sometimes be difficult, the right people at the right time are actually God's gift to us.  They are there to help us thrive and carry on, as we are also there for them.
My friend, as the parent of a special child, you cannot afford to let your soul become like a parched lawn!  Be mindful of what it takes to grow and bloom.  Seek those habits.  Otherwise, you may become dried and dormant, having no beauty or joy to offer.

PRAY:  Lord, help me to be aware!  I don't want to become withered up and spiritually useless.  Pour Your grace and goodness into my life.  Help me to stay close to You, my Living Water!

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