Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither...
Psalm 1:3 

The drought continues in our part of the world with more serious consequences showing up every day... wells going dry, fish dying as the rivers reside, grass fires, and the loss of crops all over the Heartland.

I will never take rain for granted again... and remind me in January as I complain about walking through deep snow to the mailbox that most of late June and July was sweltering with temperatures in the 90s and 100s.

I've been pondering the above verse this week, especially on a rare cool-ish morning as I sat at the deck table, under the shade of the umbrella.  I had been watering the deck flowers and what is left of the garden... enjoying the refreshing breezes.

To take advantage of such a nice morning, I brought my coffee and Kindle outside for a morning Quiet Time.  I tried to concentrate on Psalms but found myself distracted by the beauty of the trees.  The way my house sits on an ever-so-tiny hill creates an illusion of a rolling forest across the county road to the south (but only when the trees are in full summer splendor).

I love trees and forests, even if I get goosebumps walking to the house from the driveway at night.  Twice recently I saw something run into the forest at the end of the gravel road.  It was too small to be Bigfoot and judging from the flash of red, I'm thinking it has to be the fox (or a member of his family) that we saw in the backyard this past Spring.  At least I don't think it could be a small, red haired Bigfoot.

Anyhoo, the forest gives me comfort as the ocean would for someone brought up on Cape Cod.  There is something about the tree trunks and limbs reaching up toward the heavens that create their own form of Worship and the sound of the wind rushing through the leaves making music to its' Creator as beautiful as the most majestic of hymns.

As I sipped coffee and gazed at the trees that morning, it dawned on me that I was surrounded by various shades of... green!  Which is normal at this time of year, of course... but this is not a normal year.

Parts of my lawn are brown and crunchy (we never water our lawn), the only remaining areas of green grass are in the shady sections of the property.  The hostas near the house are turning brown, as are some of the native grasses planted west of the deck.

As one looks down and around there is a lot of brown... but look up and all is well!  While the smaller trees are beginning to suffer, the big guys are looking happy in their July splendor.

What makes the difference?  Why do the large trees appear green and healthy and solid and alive?  Because their roots go deep into the ground to the source of water.

How are your roots growing?

The Still Small Voice within asked about the health of my roots.   Has the drought of adversity sent them deeper into the Living Water... or is my root system shallow, laying near the surface of the land... withering in the heat?

While I know talking to Him and reading the Word and pondering His Ways all are essential to deepening my roots, I have also been realizing the need to do something each day to take my mind off the spiritual heat and drought.

I mean... prayer and the Word are no brainers... those of us who have walked with Him more than five minutes know our spiritual roots will wither and die without them.  But I'm finding there is more these days... He is asking for more from me, knowing full well that as I submit to His request... therein will my soul find itself in the springs of Living Water.

What has He required, things huge like fasting for days or giving all I have to the poor or traveling to the Western Wall to pray (although that would be lovely)?  No... nothing quite so impossible.

He has been asking me to stand up when I want to lay down.

I simply was to pull the under-the-bed Rubbermaid container out from under the bed and find places for the creative supplies in My New Room.  To later sort through candles of all shapes and scents and sizes and cards and stationary and stickers and lovely pieces of paper and and colorful paperclips and notes from friends and yarn.

When I finished, My New Room was complete with the exception of a table (praying to find a really inexpensive table "just the right size").  It was all done a little at a time over weeks and with that last push of work... accomplished when I wanted to stay on the sofa.

While finishing this major project did not heal my ear or the pressure in my head (still there after three rounds of antibiotics) but as I stood in the room and looked around... peace filled my soul.

Keeping on when we don't want to deepens our roots

It takes faith to get off the sofa.

We are much like those big trees I admired this week.  They grew strong when smaller trees wilted and died because they were survivors.  Their roots grew down slowly over the years to the source of water... and as their roots grew so did the trunks and limbs and leaves equally stretch toward the sun.

They grow like the one who has chosen to stay the course in His walk with the Lord... through the good and the bad and the in-between times... who became survivors not because they were strong but because He is strong... and their roots grow deep.

Picture:  Word of the Lord by J. Sorenson


Terra said...

"It takes faith to get off the sofa"; some days are like that.
Well, my next action is to get off the sofa and head to church. That, and prayer and enjoying nature, as you do your trees, are very refreshing, aren't they?
I hope you are all healed soon, from the ear infection.

Ann said...

I so enjoy your Sunday posts -- you put into words what my heart feels and encourage me to think more deeply. Blessings on you and your family ...

Anonymous said...

Liked the analogy of the strong roots reaching to the source of living water. One of your best Sunday posts yet.
Will you put up some pictures when you get your room set up?

Nana said...

Hi Brenda;
What a wonderful post! I was so uplifted! I also enjoy your Sunday ponderings. Love and Hugs, Nana

Anonymous said...

I have always loved the majesty of trees; even as a child they pointed me to God.

Friend Debra

Angela said...

This is a great post. I know it is what the Lord has asked of me many times, and He still does. Not many people have expressed it as well as you have here.

Anonymous said...

To keep on keeping on, even when you feel unable to do so was on my mind today (maybe you are affected by the extreme heat and humidity too)...and wondering how many years one can keep on...physical limitations are not fun. I know you know this well. Our goal and hope it to "drop in the saddle"...hopefully we will be granted enough strength to do so!!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

You serve a very wise God, and have allowed Him to grow deep roots in you.
I am thankful for your honest posts - your struggles help all of us who struggle - and really who doesn't struggle at times?

Hoping that I am growing deep roots...