In the Wake of Drought: What Remains

Spring speaks a different dialogue out here in the country. Its native tongue is the same: warmer days, sudden gusts of air like angels are breezing through, robes caught on branches then tugging free, chattersome birds competing for best lung and limb, dogs sunbathing and scratching their backs on the few stiff sprigs of dead grass leftover by winter. Though Spring bears such similarities every year, it still surprises and delights the delight-able. I want in the worst way to remain one of those.

 

Other things are new for me this year. New for me 6 miles from town. 17 miles from my small, man-scaped suburban yard of 27 years. The landscaping is mostly left to God out here and that makes it feel considerably riskier. Oh, I know it’s not. I know the right things to say. I’m just suggesting that it feels that way. For instance, He doesn’t appear all that adept at mowing and weed-eating and a bit more like Edward Scissorhands at limb trimming. His tools are mostly winds and rains.

 

Our area of the country experienced the worst drought in its history last Spring, Summer, and early Fall. Though we’ve had the enormous relief of winter rains, they tell us that this unwelcome desert-shroud has not lifted from us yet and will blanket us in our hot flashes for another half a year. We hope they are wrong. We so hope they are wrong.

 

My man was a servant of the land long before he had a single acre. He was formed by his Maker to be outside. He tends and frets and blesses and curses out there. He thinks and rethinks. He weaves and unravels. I don’t mean he’s a yardman. I can count the times I’ve seen him mow the yard on one hand. He’s an outdoorsman. He lives out there on the other side of the fence. He has paltry little taste for manicured gardens. He likes to fuss over things out there where only God can fuss with any consistent effectiveness.

 

Keith is a self-taught tree man who believes that earning your B.S. degree in anything of the least value begins with several years spent in nothing but pure appreciation. Melissa told me not long ago that he drove her up to a particular spot near here and gruffly said, “You see that sycamore over there?” She nodded because she did. “If that tree doesn’t move you…well, then, you’re an idiot.”

Vintage Keith Moore.

This is the top of the one he was talking about. It is a beautiful thing if you’re into trees. An iPhone is a pitiful way to capture it so don’t throw yourself into the idiot category too quickly. It may be a mood-thing.


Keith brought a bona fide, certified, countrified tree-man out here a few months ago to survey the damage of the drought. With his professional eagle eye, he pointed Keith toward a few trees that were clearly lifeless, bark splitting and branches as brittle as melba toast. “But for the most part you can’t really tell yet, Mr. Moore. Only Spring can say what survived.”

 

So, we’ve waited eight weeks to hear what Spring would say, hoping we’d understand its country twang.

 

Finally…

 

“I have good news and bad news,” Spring said. “Which do you want first?”

 

The bad news.

 

To vocalize its answer loud and clear, it borrowed the voices of four large chain saws this morning. I sat out on the front steps and listened but I wouldn’t have had to. I could have heard it just fine from inside the house but, then again, inside I might not have known which way to run in case a huge, dead oak came crashing down some unanticipated direction. I guess nobody really yells, “Timmmmm-berrrrrrr!” anymore because I haven’t heard it a single time and they’ve missed innumerable opportunities. What I have heard is a sound like the sudden cracking of lightening (only not quite so loud but quite more personal) followed by branches splitting and breaking and thuds so powerful, our pier and beam house jolts.

 

 

The carnage going on outside my house right now is so loud that I don’t know how you can hear me. I’ll try to talk louder.

SO, MR. SPRING, IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS OUT THERE?

This time Spring didn’t use the sound of chain saws. This time it used a different kind of voice. At least I hope it did. And not with audible sounds but words of the heart. I’ll attempt to hang some vocabulary on it like miniature lights on long limbs but I don’t know if I’m getting it right. Here’s a meager shot at it:

 

1. The cutting away is painful but it can relieve considerable angst. Sometimes knowing for certain what is dead is better than wondering. “Well, now we at least know,” Keith, his parents, and I have said to one another. “If it’s dead and gone, let’s get it out of here,” I said to all three of them last night and they nodded. It is pointless to keep trying to resuscitate things God has killed…or permitted to die. I’m not talking about unspeakably sacred treasures like people. I’m talking about things. Like plans, works, efforts, castles, methods, accomplishments, goals, aspirations, positions, tenures, results. Sometimes God uses a fresh Spring to say, “That was a good thing. And it had some good life. But now it is dead. Let’s chop it down and use it for firewood. You’re wearing yourself out giving it CPR. It’s dead. Have a one-day memorial service and move on. You don’t have to understand why. I bring to life. I kill. I understand the cycle. You don’t. But, if it’s any encouragement, you will.”

 

There comes a time when it’s finally time to stop forcing things that don’t work. You know me better than to think I mean marriages. We’re talking things here. God alone can perform a resurrection and, notice, He usually chooses in His sovereign wisdom to keep dead things dead once they’re dead here on earth. That’s not so bad when you consider that we’re heading somewhere where nothing will die but death.

 

2. The cutting away of the dead is to make room for the living. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away.” That thing we keep beating our bloody fists on is not bearing fruit. It’s taking up space where something else needs planting. Something that needs nurturing. Something that needs exposing to the sun. It’s in the way.

 

Crack. Break. Thud. Another one. Good grief. How many will there be?

 

Spring talks on…

 

3. Sometimes only a few limbs are dead. The tree is alive but it’s suffering, trying to hold onto dead weight. Let it go. Scoot out from under it and let it fall. And the rest of the tree will flourish again. You do not equal “it.” Stop defining yourself by what’s past. The Holy Spirit penned it this way in John 15: “Every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” The purpose for this massive cutting away of what is dead is to make room for what is alive. It is for our health. Not for our end.

 

“Abide in Me, and I in you,” He says.  

 

4. Some limbs are alive – barely – but they’re too strangled to sip from the tree. “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” Catch the nuance in Galatians 3:3 – “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” I’ve tried that before. Have you? The limb is choking on a stubborn clot of flesh. Cough up the human means to a divine end, spit it as far as you can, and drink of the Tree of Life.

 

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

 

5. Not every loss of something old is a crying shame. Just because it’s been there long and large doesn’t mean that it should stay. Keith’s parents lost a really big one. A painful one. A prime oak that loomed over their front yard like a giant flexing its muscles on twenty massive arms. In the tree-man’s own words, “That was a near perfect tree. Perfectly shaped.”

 

Crack. Break. Thud.

 

 

Sometimes things get to live a really long and wonderful life before they die. But perish the thought that, in their honor, we’d keep calling something alive that has long since breathed its last. If it is not cut down, it could tumble down and cause ten times the destruction. Traditional and eternal are not synonymous. Sometimes they coexist. Sometimes they conflict.

 

6. So much is alive. Sometimes only a cutting-away of what is dead can improve our view. In the words of Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (KJV) The tree man, a few days ago: “You were fortunate, Mr. Moore. You didn’t get hit nearly as hard as you could have. Look at all that made it.” It’s hard to tell right now with all the noise the dead is making, screeching and snapping it’s way to the ground but we know it’s true. And it’s obvious. By a long shot, most of the trees down the dirt road we share with our neighbors survived the drought. There is a birthing of every shade of green around us. Forest green, hunter green, apple green (minus the apple), sea green (minus the sea), lime green (minus the lime), shamrock green (do three-leaf clovers count?), and pine green (pines enough to count). But I’m partial. If I tilt my head the other way, it all just looks plain green.  But after the ugliest drought to ever hit the Gulf Coast, nothing is more gorgeous than green.

 

7. Not every dying thing is meant to be dead. If we are so distracted by what has died that we cannot see what is alive, we could risk losing the living. “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die.” (Revelation 3:2) Hear that one more time: Strengthen what remains! It is still there on purpose. Nothing is haphazard here in the landscape of God. Nothing is as random as it seems. Though you thought less of it, look at its strength: it survived the worst drought in your history! Though you were parched, it stuck its tongue out at the drought and licked the dew. Thank God for it and tend to it before it dies from the quiet cancer of neglect.

 

8. Not everything that looks dead IS dead. Yesterday afternoon Keith and I stared at a big tree with bare limbs smack in the middle of our front yard, trying to figure out whether or not it had any hope. This morning as I sat on the front steps, listening to the discord of four chain saws, I looked up and saw tiny sprigs of life. It had budded overnight. While it was dark. Look closely now at the ends of those skinny branches.

 

 

9. Bare ground is not necessarily barren ground. Maybe it’s time to plant something brand new. Like a Redbud. The difference between growing a tad older and just plain getting-old can be the willingness to plant something brand new. Or be part of planting it anyway. Something almost from scratch. Like a Redbud, for instance. Or via the Holy Spirit through your son-in-law and daughter, maybe even a church. That sliver of sunlight isn’t a filter on my camera. It was natural light coming through the trees at the moment we walked by. It’s like God knew I was working on this post.

 

 

I know. It’s hard to see. Here’s the new plant closer up. And the shadow of yours truly next to it, just so you know this was personal.

 

As it turns out, I’ve spent this entire day with you at least in fits and starts. It’s evening now. Keith and I just got back from a stroll, down around his parents and back. It was the Chainsaw Massacre. But all that is sprouting around it seemed strangely oblivious. Just before we walked back into the house, Keith said, “What is that?” I stopped in my tracks. “Do you hear that chirping?” he said. I did and stood very still to listen. My man of 33 years grinned and said, “It’s baby birds. There’s a nest up there somewhere.” We held our hands over our eyes, squinted in the sunset, and tried to see sewn-together twigs in the shape of a bowl and the tiny fluttering feathers of happy hatchlings.

 

But we couldn’t see the birds for the leaves. Or the forest for the trees.

 

It’s Spring here in Houston. Spring after the worst drought in our history. Maybe you know how Houston feels. Lord, let this not be the mere middle of it. Make the forecasters false prophets but let them live all the same. Right or wrong, theirs is no final voice.

5   This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,

who depends on flesh for his strength

and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands;

he will not see prosperity when it comes.

He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,

in a salt land where no one lives.

7   “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

8    He 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.” Jeremiahs 17:5-8 NIV

 

No worries?? Seriously?

 

That’s what it says.  The question for people of faith is not “Will I experience drought?” It’s “When will I experience drought?” And, when we do, how we will respond. Will we, for all practical purposes, die a needless spiritual death or will we strengthen what remains, plant something new in Jesus’ Name, and dig our roots deeper toward the stream? Feeling a tad dry? Go deeper. Trust God. Do NOT fear. The drought will pass and, even though the mightiest trees around you may wither or fall, you may cease for a while to have fun, but you will not cease to bear fruit.  I don’t know about you but, if for a little while life’s not fun then, Lord help me, at least let there be fruit!

 

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”  Isaiah 61:3 NIV

 

 

 

I love you guys so much.

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356 Responses to “In the Wake of Drought: What Remains”

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Comments:

  1. 151
    Jeanie says:

    We saw Sycamore trees in person for the first time on a trip to Sedona, AZ. Awesome trees & we are hunting for some to try here. Guess we are tree people too. Hubby doesn’t even like to cut down some big trees that have died as he says they are beautiful in form. I don’t go that far! We live on the topside of Kansas where every tree is a treasure. Drought here too for us farmers but even so Spring has Sprung & always gives hope. The LORD will provide what He wants us to have for moisture. Even the heavy fog this morning gives the earth some relief! God bless you & yours!

  2. 152
    Terry says:

    Beth, that was beautiful. Welcome home!

    Thank you so much for the mini-study this morning. It is like living, refreshing water to my spirit. I have seen the death of too many relationships this past year, a couple of them so close I can’t speak because of the lump in my throat and the ache in my heart. Thank you for the reminder to press into God, to go deeper. It is a constant battle not to give up hope. “My hope is in You, Lord, all the day long…”

  3. 153
    Susan Money says:

    Thank you, Beth. Through you, His creation, and His word, my spirit has been refreshed today. This came at a perfect time for me. I, too, am praying the forecasters are wrong. I’m so enjoying all of the green right now!
    Blessings!

  4. 154
    Jodene Shaw says:

    Dear Beth,

    Beautiful.

    I can so relate to this. I have written of it and shared photos of our South Dakota prairie coming out of drought here: http://jodeneshaw.blogspot.com/2011/08/jim-and-i-just-celebrated-15-years-of.html

    Such lessons from the Lord in the seasons of life. He teaches so much from His creation. So much truth in the living and dying, the springs and falls, of the grass and flowers and trees.

    Love,
    Jodi Shaw

    • 154.1
      mk says:

      Jodi, Loved your post and pictures! So moving for this transplanted prairie girl. So thankful for the bounty the Lord has given you this year!
      mk

  5. 155
    liz says:

    Glad your back! Keith sounds like my Dad who only had 1 1/2 acres of land but spend everyday of his life outside on them. Even with dementia he was happiest outside in his garden. We have a picture of him planting potatoes just days before he died.

  6. 156
    Sue says:

    Firewood?? Not the trunks! Find someone like my husband–he could make something beautiful out of that “dead” oak!!

  7. 157
    Jennifer says:

    I need this truth to seep into the deepest places of my tattered heart. Thank you, Beth!

  8. 158
    Kierstan says:

    Welcome Home!

    Thrilled to see your post…and oh how it touched me. So very tired, trying to look alive when I feel dead. Go Deeper…yes! Trust Him….yes! Prayer: Holy Spirit breathe on me….please.

    Today I will hold onto the hand of Jesus and not let go. Let the dead limbs fall….I won’t let go. Let the pruning beginning again….I wont let go. I will through the fear and tears sing with the robins this morning…How Great is our God!

    Miss Beth, you are loved. Grateful for the Fruit in your life that nourishes and produces Fruit in mine.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    -kd

    PS Thank you living proof ministry team for all you do that we can’t see. So grateful for you!!!
    Hope you dance and sing and hug and love BIG today!

  9. 159
    Sarah says:

    Love this. Oaks of Righteousness…strong enough to weather the storm with deep roots in His truth. Now, that is the kind of woman I want to be!

  10. 160
    Sabrina says:

    Thank you. This is by far a blessing to read this morning. I am now digging through my scripture cards looking for Jeremiahs 17:5-8. I wrote it down a few weeks ago with the intention to memorize and will do so now. It is very similar to my favorite Psalm 1.

    We are heading home to Houston after living here in Virginia for the past 10 years. I am looking forward to joining you in your bible study teachings. Praise be to God!

  11. 161
    Nicole says:

    Wow. God has been speaking those verses from Jeremiah to me ALL WEEK. And here they are again. WOW. God is SO good.

  12. 162
    Heidi says:

    This is just stunningly beautiful writing!

  13. 163
    Tiffany says:

    Thank you for reminding me that there IS life after drought, and that what remains is sweeter, stronger and more capable to bear much fruit, in Jesus name and by His will. I must quit dragging around dead limbs and quit watering dead trees! Thank you for using your time and your talent to seek and write Truth! It has blessed me!

  14. 164
    Sharon says:

    Beth,

    Thank you for this beautiful post! This has been a season of cutting away…such difficult cutting. Especially the cutting away of pride – worrying about what the world views as failure. As a result, my roots have grown deeper as I desperately sought comfort and God has shown me that it may be failure in the world’s eyes, but success in my Father’s eyes.

  15. 165
    Kim Lee says:

    SO refreshing~ Thank you!!!

  16. 166

    This was outrageous in beauty! All the way through! I love your thought flow and story woven with a grace ribbon completely around it!
    God bless your season with the early and latter rains and may we stand fast… in Him!

  17. 167
    Pamela Sue says:

    I kept thinking about that time zone difference while you were away. Many of my prayers covered you while you were sound asleep. I’m in MN, so we are usually in sync.

    Urban trees are different from forest trees. We have Rainbow Tree Care come visit our trees once every five years to maintain our red sunset maple in the front yard and the three green mountain sugar maples in the back yard. Next time they will also check our baby northern star white spruce.

    We lost our biggest most beautiful tree to an encircling root that strangled the life right out of that tree, preventing it from budding one spring. We had the tree removed, the stump ground and eventually replanted another smaller tree of the same variety that is thriving after four years of tending.

    Straight line winds damaged one of two very tall spruce. We chose to have both trees removed before they could cause damage to our home or our neighbor’s home. We replanted one small Charlie Brown Christmas tree in their place (the happy little tree that everyone sings around).

    In the forest there are nutrients in the soil that you don’t find in the urban setting. Kind of like our spiritual life, there is an analogy here.

    We all need life sustaining nutrients no matter our earthly address. Life in the city will suck the life out of us and strangle us.

    I call on the One who created the Rainbow in all of its purity and glorious spectrum of light. Come, dig in the soil at the base of Your trees and mix in the nutrients You know we need. Climb in our branches and shape us, cutting off whatever You desire for Your purpose. Amen.

  18. 168
    Terri says:

    Thanks Beth! Perfect to read before heading off to work!! Bless you!

  19. 169
    Beth Collins says:

    Beth, I love, love, love this post. I’ve had a true infatuation with trees ever since my dad, a forester, would take me to work with him when I was a little girl. I love the outdoors and everything about it. Your writing boosted my spirit in such a wonderful way. I am going to copy it and keep it for times of personal drought. Thank you for letting the Lord use you to speak words of truth to me!

  20. 170
    Swag22 says:

    I have never posted before (though I’ve been a lurker for a long time) but I couldn’t help but have today be the first day. But don’t worry, I won’t try and hog the comment space…

    This is B E A U T I F U L.

  21. 171
    April Jones says:

    Thank you. That’s all – just thank you.

  22. 172
    Susan says:

    Beth –

    That was absolutely beyond a shadow of doubt, in my opinion, the best post you have ever posted on your blog in my many years of reading it – or maybe it was just that God knew that was absolutely what I needed right now after 6+ years of a very horrible situation that has not resolved yet. At any rate, I know that He will resolve it to my best & to His great glory in His best time. And how I praise Him for using you for that glorious post just when I needed it. God bless you again & again, and so glad you are back home safely. I do love you.

  23. 173
    Shandra says:

    Beth! This was impeccable timing of what my heart was needing from God. I read this last night before falling deeply asleep from the peace His words gave through your heart. Thank you, Beth. You are a beautiful woman and vessel!

  24. 174
    Kathy g says:

    I so identify with Keith! I would spend every waking hour outside if I could. Shoot, there are days so beautiful and nights so full of stars that I would sleep on the porch if I could! I live in a tiny forest in Tennessee and trust God to protect my cottage from the 80 foot oaks that stand guard just feet from my back deck. I’ve had to remove over 15 of them from my yard (there are still 30 huge trees on my little acre) and it was painful but necessary – just like life; There are things that are better removed for our safety and health!

  25. 175

    Beth, That was beautiful. I am inspired by Springs newness 🙂
    love you….Cindy

  26. 176
    Denise B says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Beth. (Glad you are back in the States safe and sound.) I have been experiencing a dry place for a few months now. I have asked God to also prune what is dead so that what remains will be more fruitful. I know God is in the process. Spring time is a great time to consider the condition of the soil. It’s time to prepare the ground for new growth and to plant. God waters in season and the harvest is just around the corner – Praising God now for the harvest to come!!!

  27. 177
    Haydee H says:

    We will strengthen what remains! In Jesus’ glorious name!
    Thank you Beth. Your words have to be God-inspired. That’s the only way I can explain everything that you say and write. You are amazing!
    And I’m so happy to know a new season is here! “I want in the worst way to be one of those[the delight-able].”

  28. 178
    Angie Herndon says:

    Beth, These verses have spoken to me as well over the last two years as we have had a financial drought. Also, Psalms 1:3, Ezekiel 47:12, and Psalm 92:12-14. These have been my life verses. My roots are growing deeper in faith for God to come through for us month to month until this drought is over. I needed this word from the Lord to strengthen me in my journey. I cried when I saw these verses at the bottom of your blog and journeled to trust, and not be afraid.

  29. 179
    NancyS says:

    Welcome Home,Beth
    What an inspired post, probably the best I’ve read. It impacted me deeply. Your move to the country has already been a blessing to all of us. It encourages me to embrace the new season as the Lord has recently be removing some dead things from my life (ouch) and leading in a new direction–all in my same neighborhood.

  30. 180
    Anna Patterson says:

    Thank you, Beth, for the beautiful reminders…go deeper, trust God, do not fear, the drought will pass. To be an oak of righteousness for the display of His splendor…Amen. And so glad you are home safely from Australia…things are not the same here in the States when you are gone. 🙂 Blessings and Shalom.

  31. 181
    Carolyn says:

    So beautiful. Your post really touched me. Thanks for sharing.

  32. 182
    Liz Allen says:

    Thank you so much! I needed that. And I feel the love! Thanks for allowing the Lord to use you, sister!

  33. 183
    Linda Cox says:

    This was so refreshing for me. I keep focusing on negatives instead of positives @ our church. I have thought about leaving once a year for the past 3 years. Thank you Beth so much for sharing your heart. God always has a word for me through your teaching.

    thank you

  34. 184
    Carol Lynne says:

    Beth, I have always been blessed by the way you can take a scripture and make it live for those of us taking your Bible studies. Today you applied that gift of insight to spring and drought and tree surgery. You totally wowed me with taking these commonplace experiences and turning them into incredibly deep spiritual lessons! Thank you for letting us see through your sensitive, godly eyes! I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of months, but am sooo blessed by it. Love, Carol Lynne

  35. 185
    Lisa (hisfivefooter) says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thanks for your post. It was timely and appreciated. I will be more careful what I say. Some things do need to die. Love you dear heart.
    Lisa

  36. 186
    Katie says:

    Such great reflection and insight, Beth.

    Just the other day..my 5 year old lost his first tooth. And he struggled with the ‘losing’ part – and we talked about how that little sweet baby tooth had to come out so that a big shiny adult tooth could move on in….I couldn’t help but think about this whole ‘losing to gain’ thing in terms of our walks with the Lord.

    As you point out though – it isn’t always that way. We don’t always have to lose to gain. Sometimes we have to gain….to gain. The addition of surprise baby #3 a few months ago proves it 🙂

    He is faithful in all seasons, isn’t He?

    Hugs,
    Kate 🙂

  37. 187
    Kathy B says:

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your love-to-put-it-into-words soul with us. I think Australia went and made you an outdoorsy girl. Or do we have Keith to thank for that? My husband loves him some trees, too. We have somewhere around 15 or 16 fruit trees in our 1/3 of an acre yard. And he’s been out spraying, trimming and just loving on most of them this week. He’s so blessed to see them wake up 🙂 Our son was also “blessed” from the top of the ladder he had him trimming from yesterday. Thank you for ever so many true, true lessons that I forgot were lurking in my very own yard.

  38. 188
    Diana A. says:

    Welcome Home!

    I am a tree hugger – especially in heart, I have a special relationship with trees – I must have atleast 1 in my view from home. GOD always have blessed me trees!

    Good message – thank you. Facing a death of someThing in my life too. Your words really caused me to rethink and see the new life that will come.

    You Bless me so much and so often! I honestly feel indebted to you, but truely in a good way. GOD has it all!
    Grateful to GOD for you, and using you and for bringing me to you! GRATEFUL!!!

    Enjoy your Spring! GOD has New Life on His mind 🙂

  39. 189
    Meredith Smith says:

    Thank you so much Beth for sharing…as I write this comment my eyes are glistening with unshed tears. The Lord knew I needed to hear this reminder for so many reasons. Thank you for being open and responding to the Lord’s prompting every time you write. I even printed out the verse Jeremiah 17:5-8 to read over and over today.
    May God pour out His blessings on you today.

  40. 190
    Kami says:

    Your words are a message right from our Heavenly Father to my husband and I, of this I have no doubt. At this very moment, for this exact season. Usually, i don’t try to explain to my husband what i learn from from my favorite teachers, but he was a captive audience yesterday in our truck, and i read every single word of this post to him. He got it. We both were struck with how you penned the words that we are living exactly now. Using the scripture that has been our lifeline! The cutting away of a lifetime farming land that, with sorrow, has been sold to keep alive our 100 year old homestead. The figurative “chopping down” of our hog farm that did not survive the drought of a bad economy, the searching for those buds of life that give hope to us that we are not forgotten and that new life will come. Waiting for the “spring” of life has been years in the making for our small family farm here in Canada, but we have hope, we praise, we mourn for a moment, we keep bearing fruit through the tears of saying goodbye to once was, praying that we too will one day see the full on bloom of all that God has called us to be…”Oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor’. Isaiah 61 has been my prayer to God, that He will remember us and have mercy on us and all of our fellow hog farmers who have lost so much, for so long. I’m not complaining here one bit, my roots have searched long and deep for God through this, He is our Source and for that i am so very thankful.

    • 190.1
      Beth says:

      Oh Kami, I felt every word of your comment. You guys are indeed experiencing a cutting away. But here’s what I know. God has in mind to do you good. And I know you will not miss it because you guys are looking so steadily to Him for it. Persevere, my darling sister, even in your tender heart toward Him. Any tears that are toward Him rather than away from Him in effect, I believe, wash His feet. That’s an offering in itself. The things you described are very real and sound very hard. This drought will end. Soon, Lord Jesus. But I promise you that your fruit is showing, Sister.

  41. 191
    Julie Anne says:

    Wow… glad I’m not an idiot… even with an iPhone photo! That is a beautiful tree!
    My kids were singing Zacchaeus the other day and asked what a sycamore tree was. I might have to show them this picture!!

  42. 192
    alicia "frozen peach" says:

    yes! yes! yes! YESSSSS!!!!! gonna carry those promises around on a note card during this drought!
    “no worries”??? THANK YOU !!!
    Spring has definitely been hard but healing this year… looking forward to the “fruit” 🙂

  43. 193
    Kim Safina says:

    The Journey Continues ~

    Thank you!!!

    That was a blessed story with a foundation from the root of the tree!

    Could have used those stumps for the wedding reception decor this past weekend.

    Sending you some SPRINKLES, RAIN, AND JOY TO GO WITH IT
    Bring it on,
    Kim

  44. 194
    mk says:

    Welcome home Beth! Kept checking back in anticipation of your post after seeing on twitter that you were thinking of us! Just got to check now, perfect timing, as I have a rare quiet moment to read it.
    Couple this post with your last James video we did last night, so poignant and profound. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing! Going to take a moment now, in the quiet, to ask the Lord to bring new life in this old person’s life!
    loving you in thankfulness!
    mk

    • 194.1
      Beth says:

      Oh MK! We are not old! We are well seasoned! Spicy even. Grin.

      • Kim Safina says:

        AMEN!!!! 🙂

      • mk says:

        Thanks Beth! Encouraged!
        I always thought that by the time 60 would be closing in I would be like those old farm women, who when singing Alone in the Garden refrain ‘He walks with me and He talks with me’ we knew that they really did that. Living Enochs.
        But I am feeling a little Cajun style now – burnt out – instead. But I am reading the Psalms and agreeing with your prayer for a jumpstart and finishing well.

      • Sally Denton says:

        Saucy, my precious four boys say :)))

  45. 195
    Sheila says:

    Dear Beth,

    I so often want to comment to a post of yours, but the words get stuck in my throat and then I don’t. This time I’m typing through the lump. What Keith said made me laugh out loud. What the tree man said about Spring is a keeper. What you said made me think and long and sigh and praise and say Thank You.

  46. 196
    Joyce Watson says:

    Beautiful! It is like God has picked up the pieces of His words and come forth and planted them into the remnant of His hands to spread across the winds of His pages to reach out to those who need to be transformed and drawn closer to Him.
    O Lord, You know when we are so frail and weak,
    You hear when we cry out from the very depths of our hearts,
    And you know when we hunger after Your righteousness and Your goodness,
    Only You can lift us up out of a dry, land of wilderness
    And give us Living Water that comes springing up joyfully
    You will protect us and be our Stronghold in the time of trouble
    You will counsel our hearts and bring us peace and a safe haven
    You will cover over us and teach us in the ways we should go
    For You are our Comforter, You are One our hearts long for
    You did not forget your people when they were in the wilderness
    You did not forget Job and His sufferings
    You did not forget Jesus Your Son who died on the cross
    O Lord, You are faithful One,
    You are my Redeemer
    there is none like You.
    Create in me a new heart
    and fill my days with Your praise and thanksgiving. ~joyce

  47. 197
    Nicole says:

    This came at such a needed time. Here’s a little taste of what the Lord said to me through it. http://vinson-nicole.blogspot.com/2012/03/go-deeper.html

  48. 198
    Dionna says:

    Your thoughts are so eloquent and timely. The way you weaved spring and what happens with our own seasons in life – is so perfect. I love this post and agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts. Sometimes, we just need reminders. 🙂

  49. 199
    Dustalyn says:

    Dear Beth,
    I love you too! Thanks for the post… God is good!!! His Word is refreshing…
    love ya,
    dusty

    p.s. I am looking forward to meeting you in heaven (if our paths never cross here on earth) Keep pointing us to the One and Only…

  50. 200
    Marsha Hodges says:

    This was just so stinkin beautiful Beth. Thank you so much. It’s good to have you back. I Love You Beth!

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