Scanning familiar places in my garden I watch for old friends to reappear from their winter naps. It amazes me that after I’d witnessed what seemed to be their death in autumn—complete with dying leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit—I now see new life emerge.
It’s not always pretty as they awake from their slumber. Some have to unfold as do the fiddleheads of my ferns and others have to break through the soil with old leaves and debris attached to their delicate stems like they are holding on for more sleep. But those stems are strong—strong enough to break through the compacted surface formed from months of freezing temperatures.
I watch them, awed by their tenacity and resilience. Yes, for plants that months ago looked dead they were in fact still full of life, for the life was in their roots that were down under the soil, protected and nourished.
I’ve felt like one of my beloved perennials many times—planted, served a purpose, and then death. It’s like all I accomplished died and nothing around me was as it should be. The barrenness would set in with the cold winds of change.
Have you been here?
I think we all have at some point in time.
Eccl. 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” So, how do we survive these still and barren times? How do we combat the enemy who wants to suck the life out of us so we won’t have our break-through and enter into another productive period again?
Remember it’s a season, and they change. They never stay the same.
Keep feeding your spirit, for your roots need to be
protected and nourished.
Live by faith, not by sight.
Rejoice in the Lord.
Habakkuk, a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah, probably felt the same way during a very difficult time in the history of Israel. He was struggling in this particular season and penned these words:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation,
God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s;
He makes me tread on my high places,” (Hab. 3:17-19.)
Even though everything around Habakkuk seemed negative, he chose to rejoice in the Lord! The Lord was his strength and allowed him to once again tread on high places.
Wait, not just any high places, but on HIS OWN high places.
Yes, we all have high places that God has prepared for us to tread—live, flourish, enjoy, produce—and just because we may be in an unproductive season, that doesn’t mean that we will stay there. That’s not God’s plan. Just like He never meant for those beautiful plants to be dormant all winter and never bloom again.
This spring let’s take the time to notice the new growth sprouting up from the ground and not lose hope. Just as Jesus Christ died on the cross and then spent three days in a tomb (a season) and then rose again to new life, we too can be resurrected to new life.
Until then we must stay near Him and allow Him to feed us and watch over us. Then in His timing He will allow us to emerge from our dormant season. The glorious shoots that have been in His care will reappear and reach to the Son as the hope of His glory shines through.
And . . . the more we grow towards Him, we will begin to see the debris of past sorrows and failures fall to the ground allowing us to flourish as He intended.
Rejoice in the Lord!
All scripture from ESV Bible.
All photos courtesy of www.pixabay except one by Beth K Fortune