“For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8
The other day I was watering my gardens and thinking that this must be the definition of insanity. Paying way too much for water, to keep tomatoes (and okra and peppers and zucchini) alive, because by gosh, I may be a lot of things, but a quitter is not one of them. These tomatoes may be the most expensive tomatoes ever, but come heck or high water, or no water at this point, they’re not dying ’til I say they’re dying.
We’ve had over 30 days of 100+ degree heat so far this summer. As Texas summers go, heat is normal, this kind of heat is abnormal. Not to mention the lack of rain. We so desperately need rain.
It’s easy to look at the statistics. It’s easy to see where we’re tracking this year versus past nightmarish years of heat and drought . . . I’m looking at you 2011. It’s easy to get anxious.
Honestly, it’s not just my gardens or the surrounding farmland or even the drought, that extends throughout our state and beyond, that’s cause for concern . . . it’s not just the weather giving me pause. It feels like the drought we’re currently suffering through is a physical reflection of the state of our world, and we’re living and existing in a culture that is in a perpetual spiritual, moral, and emotional drought. When I say, “We need Jesus”, it’s not just some trite response to the current state of affairs. We desperately need Jesus. We need Jesus in our families, in our culture, and yes, even in our churches. Because y’all, we aren’t acting and living like Christ. We’re not full of grace and truth. We are full of condemnation and accusations and discord and anxiety . . . we try to extend truth without coupling it with mercy and grace. We point fingers at others while refusing to examine our own motives, our own hearts, our own soundness of doctrine . . . we need Jesus. The Jesus that never excused sin . . . read the bible . . . He always called out sin for what it was . . . but also, the Jesus that picked up the sinner, dusted them off, and with love, said “go and sin no more”. Full of grace. Full of truth.
It’s easy to look around and despair. I can’t fix it all. I can’t make it rain. But I know the rain maker. And I know the fixer of human hearts. So when all looks lost, I’ll keep on doing what I know to do. I’ll keep watering my gardens day after day. I’ll keep reading and studying the word asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me, to reveal truth to me, and to correct me when I’m wrong. I’ll keep praying for physical rain and relief, and for spiritual rain and repentance for all of us, myself included. And most importantly, I’ll spread out my roots toward Jesus and refuse to despair in the heat and the drought and the hard times. Because they will come, the bible never says they won’t, but I serve the God that waters in the middle of the drought. That provides relief from the heat and water to my very thirsty soul.