Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘water’

In Genesis 1:14, 15, God creates “lights in the firmament of the heavens” for “signs and seasons, and for days and years”.

In agricultural societies, seasons are an important part of life. With industrialization, though, these natural rhythms are lost, and we rush from one day to the next, not understanding that life was never meant to be lived at the same pace year in and year out. But no matter how attuned to the seasons (or not) our society is, they still exist. If you look closely, you will find them everywhere, even in your spiritual life.

Winter is a season of rest, but can also be a season of harsh storms, cold winds, and isolation. Some winters are harsher than others, but all are times to draw closer to Father God, to send our roots deeper into Him, in preparation for the coming spring. Some plants – apple trees, for instance – require a period of very cold temperatures in order to produce fruit the following spring.

In fact, a fruit tree planted in the fall will produce fruit a whole year earlier than one planted the following spring, because during those cold months of winter, the tree is using no energy for growth, so it can put all its energy into sending its roots down deeper into the soil. So when blossom-time comes, the tree planted in the fall is stronger, and has a better root system to gather water and nutrients. The tree just planted in the spring has to spend the summer growing, so it can’t expend the energy to deepen its roots until winter finally comes.

Spring comes with a burst of life and color, sometimes overwhelming us with vibrant change and an abundance of new growth. Spiritual or emotional spring is like that, too. All of a sudden, new ideas/beliefs/activities are bubbling up inside. We are restless, eager for change, so full of life we don’t know where to start.

Once those ideas and changes settle in, though, we edge into summer. Ah, lazy summer. This is actually the quietest season. Things are growing, but slowly, silently, almost invisibly. This is the season when we sometimes feel that nothing is happening, that all that spring blossom has died, that we’ve missed the boat or been left behind.

But wait! Don’t give up on your spiritual garden just yet. One day it looks hopeless, and the next, it’s full of ripe fruit, just waiting to bring life and health and joy to those you share it with. At last – autumn! Harvest time!

As we reap the rewards of this season, things begin to quiet down, and we gradually move into winter again.

And so the seasons change, over and over again, our whole lives long.This can feel like we are ‘doing laps’ or ‘going around the mountain again’. But in reality, we have grown since the last time we were in this season, so it is not the same.



If we understand which season we are in, we can optimize our time there. We can learn what we need to learn, do what we need to do, rest when we need to rest, go deeper in Him when it’s time for that.

When we learn to recognize our own seasons, and learn to live in them properly, instead of trying to rush through this one to get to the next, we may find that our lives are richer, more satisfying, and much less stressful. Our roots go deeper and deeper, our branches grow stronger and stronger, and our fruit becomes more abundant, sweeter, and more nutritious (because it’s less stressed). We become the ‘trees planted by the river’ of Jeremiah 17:8.



The better you understand your own seasons, and how to live in them, the more you will be able to understand another’s seasons. And this is important; because, while we all live in the same climatic season, our personal, internal, seasons are individual. I may be in spring while you are in autumn, and another is in winter.

If we demand others to be in the same season we are, we can do much damage to their spiritual life and growth. Each season has its own tasks and changes, and each is valuable, so we should not denigrate the season another is in. In fact, we can often be more helpful to our siblings in Christ if we are not in the same season they are in. We can see more clearly what they are going through, understand it because we’ve recently gone through it ourselves, or just be able to be there for them because we are not currently in that season.



May you be blessed with His understanding of your personal seasons, wisdom to know how to live in the season you are in now, and the love and understanding to extend grace to others in their seasons.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I have run across the term ‘artesian well’ twice in the last week or so, and it got me thinking. (An artesian well is one that doesn’t have to be pumped. The water is so abundant that it just wells up by itself, if you tap into it.)

Add to the mix the holidays and thoughts of family, plus a conversation with a friend about sowing and reaping, and this is what it all ended up as:

* * *

Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived in a barren land, devoid of water and life. She remembered days of green and wet, but they were so distant that even the memories were drying up and blowing away. Oh, how she longed for life again! But no matter what she tried, there was no water to be found. The woman feared that soon she would be as dry as the dust in her fields.

Now you must understand that this woman belonged to the King’s family.  And it was not His desire for any of His children to live in such a barren place. In fact, He had provided abundant water for her farm, for many generations. Each generation had taken what it needed, and left the rest, which had filtered down into the soil, and thence to the bedrock, and deeper and deeper, until a vast lake filled the underground chambers of her land.

Alas, the woman had no knowledge of this resource, nor means to reach it. Finally, she went to her Father, and asked him for help. He took her in His loving arms, and told her of His blessings to her forebears. She was stunned! But now the question was, how to tap into this resource?

Father said, “Just ask Me.” So she did, and He cleared out the old well down through the rock until the water began to flow across the land.

As her land became green  again, the woman asked her Father if there was anything she needed to do to make sure there was always enough water.

“Give to any that ask, Beloved,” He replied.

“But I already do! And my parents did, too.  So why did the water dry up during their lifetime?”

“Ah,” He explained, “Sometimes the well becomes clogged with rocks and dirt, which stop the water from getting to you. But know that it is always there. Always! And the more you give it away, the more you will have.”

The woman thanked her Father, the King, and returned to her farm to grow her crops. She gave water to all who asked, and taught her children to do so too, telling them of the secret of the artesian well.

And she lived abundantly ever after.

* * *

The gifts God gives are not returnable. So where do they go?

Where do the harvests go from our sowing – truth, life, money, whatever? Do we, perhaps, have a vast untapped lake of blessings waiting somewhere?

What about the crops sowed by our ancestors? If they didn’t reap the full harvest, did what was left in the field rot, or is it hidden beneath layers of hardness of heart, caused by fear or unbelief, or lack of understanding?

In addition, we are co-inheritors with Christ, so how do we tap into that abundance?

Is all that only to be ours in some far-off day in heaven? Are we only ‘storing up treasures in heaven’? Yet Jesus said if we give, men would give back to us (Luke 6).

* * *

I am coming to believe that I have an untapped well filled by giving: my grandfather’s, my mother’s, even mine. Bitterness, unbelief, lack of knowledge, all have clogged the well. But as Father and I clear away all the rocks and dirt clogging it, the water of blessings begins to bubble up.

He is a good God! He gives good gifts! His gifts are non-refundable. His truth endures forever. Let’s stop rejecting what He has given us.

* * *

May you begin to see what is stopping the artesian well of His blessings to flow freely in your life. And may you heed His directions, so as to ensure that there is water for your coming generations to tap into.

* * *
* * *

P.S. The word give (or given or gives) occurs 1392 times in the Bible  (KJV). How important is giving to God? hhmmm.

Read Full Post »