And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3Several years ago I was on a personal retreat. I found a spot on my hike to sit by a stream and pray. I came to these passages and I just cried. I felt like the opposite of prosperous, well-watered garden. I felt dry deep in my bones.
Our family was in a difficult place. There were many burdens and griefs in my heart. And I remember as I prayed I asked that these verses would be true for me. That God would guide me and satisfy me and that He would bring fruit. I was thirsty for Living Water.
This year the early spring weather was very strange. The winter had record-breaking low temps. The cold held on for a long long time. Then we had rain that flooded many homes. I have noticed that my azaelea bushes are dead on the top two-thirds of the plant. I can snap off the branches with my hand. I wondered if they would come back at all.
But then I noticed green leaves coming from the base. And now there are flowers there too. It looks pretty odd when you see them in the neighborhood. Dead brown branches on top and vibrant pink and white blossoms on the bottoms.
This shows me that there is life there. The roots go deep and even when the cold is too much for some parts of the plant, there is a safe space where the life resides and can make it bloom again.
As a mother, right now I am focused on my kids' roots. I am working to instill the truth and love that they will need to draw upon for their whole lives. They will have hard winters and terrible storms in life, and if they can have roots that go deep, they can make it.
This is also an admonition for me to continue to dig deep and make sure I stay rooted. With whatever time I can, I must pray. I must read God's word. I must soak in the worship at church. My roots need to continue to thrive so that I may bear fruit.
As I see these strange bushes, I am reminded of seeing past what is on the surface. Last year, I dug up a bush that I thought had died. As I dug, I found that the bush was actually alive and would have come back if I just pruned it and let it be. I am so quick to judge others by what I see. I make assumptions on the externals and neglect to trust that God is working on them and in them. I see them as dead and give up on them, but God has the true vision to see them as they are.