Look to the Lord in times of drought

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's hot. The temperature is like what you might feel walking on the sun. People are sweating just thinking about going outside. If I had the laborious and often unappreciated task of forecasting this summer's weather, it would be this: "There is a 50 percent chance of extreme heat. There is a 50 percent chance of extreme wet. Enjoy your day!"

The heat reminds me of Jeremiah 17:7-8: "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord. ... They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit."

The past couple of years I have tried my hand at gardening. A couple of potted plants and some vegetables. Much to my delight, and certainly the delight of the plants, I have not killed everything.

I've noticed the key to their survival, particularly in the extremely hot and humid summer, is plenty of water. When the plants are in need of water, their leaves start to droop. The edges start resembling the fingertips of a child who has spent all afternoon in the pool. When water penetrates the soil to the roots, there is a near immediate reaction in the leaves. What was once droopy and sad now springs up tall. Water made all the difference.

Now, I know the sophisticated gardeners out there are outraged at this oversimplified understanding of botany. Yes, the right amount of sun, soil composition, temperature and any number of factors that I don't know anything about all play a significant role in the health of a plant. But without water, those lush, green plants become dry and brittle.

Jeremiah sees that same connection of water to plants as it relates to our dependent relationship on the Lord. The connection is simple, pure and clear.

To thrive in the seasons of drought demands being anchored to a pure, renewing source of water. Many of us do not have to look hard to see the seasons of drought in our lives. Relationships fail and disappoint. Businesses collapse. Finances shrivel up. Drought comes. The blessing of knowing the Lord is being anchored in his grace and providential care through all seasons.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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