Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why My Dead Yard Draws Me Closer to God

If you live in Charlotte, you know that we had a very wet summer.  It was uncommon.  Many complained about it.  I really tried not to because - my grass was staying alive!  Yes, I get really wrapped up in the way our lawn looks.  Our grass in the back yard was planted on top of rock with about 6 inches of dirt on it.  It remained pretty green this summer because it rained every couple days.  Recently Charlotte has experienced a period of several weeks of 90 degree sunny days with no rain.  Stepping on the brown, spotty grass in the back now sounds like stepping on crackers.  I walked around outside for a while this morning and these verses came to mind:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives. 
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:5-8
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.   Psalm 1:1-3
Obviously our backyard has some issues.  The several weeks of hot sun and no rain did not help matters - the root system is just not deep enough to get enough water.  There are roadblocks in the way.  The circumstances in the environment around our grass recently has caused it to wither and not produce what it is made to produce - which is green, plush, manicured goodness that makes this girl very smiley!

The above verses are comparing ourselves to trees (or plants).  Mostly though - the root system of those plants. Have you ever seen an older tree that has some roots as large as trunks?  Amazing.  These huge root systems give the tree nourishment, but also stability.  Both passages want us to realize that when we attach ourselves to, remain in, delight in, and trust in God - the Living Water - we have sustenance no matter what our outside circumstances bring.  It allows us to remain stable, healthy and alive and bearing fruit (good and righteous works).  I think some of this comes with maturity - just like it does with giant plants.  But a lot of it depends on us.  The place where you've been planted might not be the best (just like our extremely rocky back yard) but we must persevere and keep digging for the Truth.  I recently repotted a plant and when I removed it from the smaller pot, the roots had curled totally around the drainage rocks I had placed at the bottom.  It is possible to get through those rocks!  There will be roadblocks like rocks that pop up but God provides a way through or around.  May our roots reach around those boulders!  If we go weeks without being in God's Word - we will whither.  And if we depend on other people or things for our sustenance then we might as well be living in the desert - parched - where no one lives.  We would not even recognize good when it came!

I would rather live like the healthy trees described in these passages - with my leaves always green and never withering, bearing fruit - than my crunchy back yard!  Most are drawn toward the soft and plush rather than the hard and crunchy!!  And when tough circumstances came my way, I wouldn't hardly notice and just keep on doing what I was doing.  I tend to reveal how shallow my roots are curled around the Living Water, when circumstances get crazy!

Even though I can't delight in the plushness of our yard, and tend to look longingly at our neighbor's instead, I can delight in God and that will give me the type of root system that REALLY matters.

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