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. 201
    Cynthia says:

    Amazing! How can God know exactly what I am struggling with and use your writing and pictures to encourage this weary, dry, battle scarred soul? Because He is the good Gardener and the Pruner of my life. But I am filled with new hope now. Hope since I’ve already had my memorial service, hope for the cleared space that was left where the pruning happened, hope that bare doesn’t mean barren, hope that maybe one day I will understand.
    He is God and just today He heard my cry and is bringing new growth and life.
    Thank you for being our siesta Mama. God bless you abundantly for your love for us gals.

  2. 202
    Pamela McDonald says:

    Dear Beth,
    Welcome home! Thank you so much for the beautiful post. Can I say mini Bible study?! This was so thought-provoking. You are a wonderful writer. Thank you for staying true to what God would have you do and say.

    Love you,
    Pam

  3. 203
    Shelly Elston says:

    Dear Beth,

    You have such a gift for words! Thank you for sharing this wisdom with us. Seeing the pictures helped the words jump off the page. I love how you use the everyday happenings to remind all of us what God is doing. And to tie Scripture to it is the added blessing. The cutting down, pruning, and planting speaks to me at this point in my family life. We have a son with special needs and the work we do daily is much like what you write about. I don’t know if this makes any sense to you but just know your words went to the heart of the work we do. Thank you. I love you right back.

  4. 204
    sue powell says:

    Thank you, faithful servant for sharing this with us. After my husband of 47 years, I know this is God’s Glory for the widows. I just wanted to move forward with Grace and Dignity and Faith in my Father who knows what is best for me. I so appreciate your validation as I move forward in a “new normal”.
    Jer. 29:11… YEH GOD!
    chaplain sue powell

  5. 205
    Sharon Allen says:

    Thankyou for taking the time to stop, to look, and appreciate the handiwork of God’s creation, that which provided insight to your receptive heart and keen eye. Lastly, sharing your words at a time when most needed, and providing the ever so gentle nudge to keep moving forward, when the end of the chapter is unclear 🙂

  6. 206
    Connie Hein says:

    LOVE this post Beth! Thank you for taking time to remind us of the delights of spring – for me it is sprint-time in the Rockies in Colorado. So thankful that i am still delight-able! God bless you in your new home.

  7. 207
    Dea says:

    I read that verse in the Daily Light this week from Revelation…”strengthen what remains.” My soul quicken to it and I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. Not surprised that it would pop again as I read this thought-provoking blog. I think I need to consider what I might need to offer for pruning so that I might be strengthened by the Master Gardener.

    I am glad that God moved you to the country. You have always said growing up in Arkadelphia helps you relate to small town girls and moving to Houston gives you a voice for the city girls and now you can understand those of us who love and live in the country.

    Praying the drought has ended for Texas and Oklahoma.

  8. 208
    Helen A. says:

    I am amazed by your beautiful and truthful post. A friend sent it to me today. I am in my 60’s and have had a really bad year and a half. Too sick to go to church, being in bed a lot feeling as if God was through with me. Then a good friend who works as a chaplain two days a week at our charity hospital told me I was going to be in a homebound ministry for her and now I am making cards and writing articles for her to hand out to the patients’ she visits. This friend gave me hope that God had a purpose for me still. Then in February I bought a chihuahua who was 1-1/2 years old not knowing that she was pregnant, and she gave birth to three puppies, two males and a female and I have had the joy of watching them grow, their eyes opening, and now playing together, and although still wobbly, working hard at walking. Now I blessed three people with her puppies who will be ready to leave in about two more weeks. They were born on Leap Day. I had a female chihuahua for four years that I rescued from this breeder and she was sick when I got her, but we were so in love with each other and when she got too sick to hold her head up we took her to the vet and I held her and talked to her while the vet euthanized her. Then I grieved so hard for her, but had her cremated and have her pictured with her ashes next to it. So I have seen death, I have seen birth, and I myself have felt close to death. Everything in your post has been experienced just in the last two years by me. Your post could not have said more to me than anything else could have. Thank you Beth for showing me God’s plans for sickness, death, birth, ministering, loving, and all the reasons for them. I am so grateful to know that God has a plan for all of us and that life will go on and like the birds and puppies life will bring birth and death when God’s plan is accomplished. I won’t feel like 30 again, but being in my 60’s I have learned a good lesson from God’s servant who wrote and posted this beautifully said and written post.

    • 208.1
      Karene says:

      Helen, I am touched by your beautiful words. Being in my 50s, I can relate to some of what you wrote, about how God has a plan for us, even in our pain. I loved reading about your new homebound ministry and your puppies! Take care 🙂

  9. 209
    Angie says:

    Wow. That hit hard.

    xoxo
    Angie

  10. 210
    Sharon J says:

    Thank you! need that word today!
    Love you!

  11. 211
    Deborah says:

    Thank you, Miss Beth. Our God is GOOD. I needed this…and have a sneaking suspicion that I may need it more in the days ahead.

    Thank you. I am praying for you & yours.

    ~Deborah <3

  12. 212
    Jen H. says:

    I love how you can see God in it all. 🙂 I’m so thankful for His pruning and love…

  13. 213
    DONELLA says:

    Beth it was so amazing to read your post right after talking to a friend. It is exactly what we both needed to hear. We have struggled with quiting our jobs and turning friends away from us because we chose to leave on moral convictions. What is dead is dead, we need to have a memorial service, move on and rejoice in the living.
    May we bear more fruit now after being pruned. Thank you for sharing God’s word with us and speaking to our hearts.
    You are a blessing to me.

  14. 214
    ginny says:

    I can’t even find words to explain how deeply these words touched me just now. Thank you Beth. Thank you God. Stunning…

  15. 215
    Mary in Idaho says:

    Thank you, Beth. This was encouraging on so many levels.

  16. 216

    As another fellow Texan who watched Texas dry up last year, the rains of this spring were pure delight, driving over the lakes and seeing them fill back up this spring made me feel giddy, and so thankful to see God bring us desperately needed rain.

    I don’t know what this coming summer holds, last year was the hottest one on record, I think I read that somewhere, but right now, all I see around me is the springing up of new life everywhere and I feel alive and blessed, and praying for the drought to go away! Mostly thankful, that because Jesus is the living water, I will always be satisfied in Him!

  17. 217
    Sherry says:

    Beth-
    I love reading everything you write! You have a gift from God! I wanted to share with you my daughter Lindsey. She has an amazing voice and is currently in a contest to win $25,000 for new artists. I know you are busy- but if you have a chance, I would love it if you would take a listen.

    http://www.artistsignal.com/lindseymendez

    Thanks!
    Love & Blessings!
    Sherry

  18. 218
    Tanya says:

    You know I am so glad I discovered your blog and your books and all.

    Man I wish I could just dump my story at times–but that somehow just doesn’t seem to work. 🙂 But surely its a story. It’s a story that I’ve struggled with…and but for the grace of God would surely not be posting here today. But it is more aptly a story I STRUGGLE with. I have a six year old daughter. I was 6 once. And trying to be fully alive as she ought to do. And this post spoke whats being spoken to me–which is basically–DON’T SNUFF THE LIFE! I was given life and something tried to kill the life I was given. Someone over and over. Different people. Perpetual dysfunction and abuse–mixed up with Jesus. But Jesus was mixin it up I guess. But bottom line right now is, I’ve worked hard to provide the life for my daughter, that I didn’t have. And it’s hard. Anyone out there doing life from a (severely) dysfunctional starting point–running to with as your only hope and unable to fully–yet anyway–shake the mis ideas of who he really is?

    Well, there have been times when I’ve–yes, I’ll go ahead and venture it out there, been jealous (ahaha! BAD mom) of my daughter. For what I myself have given her. And indeed DESIRE to give her. And from that vantage point–sometimes I have the unbelievable (but believe it) ability to be mean. And its awful!

    But I trust the Lord. This disgusting admission here is not the whole faith walk. Not by far. Its a lonliness that if you knew the story you’d maybe see (no one…NO ONE needs tell me its okay to behave badly…) but the Lord who I trusted 8 months after she was born–the Lord who has carried me through such horrible situations in the last 6 years and made me fully aware of his love for ME (ironically by and through a tremendously serious health episode)–the Lord who loves me is gravely convicting me to GIVE LIFE…to not die with a dead dream, to let Him give life to me (continue) and for me to give life to her and not to do, as I know I could do, be the one to her as others were to me who tried to stomp on the heart and make joy a mere dream. The Lord who tell me to learn from the past lest I repeat it. To trust him for the meeting of my lonliness and inability…

    Thanks for the blog Beth…

  19. 219
    Heather C says:

    This post touched me deep in my spirit. My family has experienced multiple “deaths” of sorts over the last couple of years. We are just now finding that the Lord has cut some things out of our life to make room for new.. FRESH things. The start of a small home church – which has ministered to our family in such a way it brings me to tears. Less participation in “ministry”, but greater responsibilities in my work – leading to greater opportunities to share Christ with my colleagues. The passing away of some friendships that truly were not what I thought they were, to make room for some brand new blessings of the Lord. Change is difficult… the passing of seasons is not simple or carefree, but when the result is the life God intended for me to have, there’s no better thing than to weather it. Thanks for this, Beth. It ministered to me so.

  20. 220
    J says:

    I am sitting here this morning in tears after reading your post. Five months ago my son left his wife of 7 years to be with a young girl from his office. Oh, Lord, the pain. I love my daughter-in-law as if she is my own child. I have prayed and prayed and prayed that my son wake up and see what he has done, that the Lord would bring him back where he belongs.

    But just last week – on the same day I discussed hospice with my father-in-law – my son tells us that his girlfriend is pregnant and we will be grandparents for the first time.

    I had been praying my son see that this girl is not the girl God has chosen for him – but how can I pray that now that there is a baby involved?

    My heart hurts.

  21. 221
    Pam Houston says:

    What an awesome dialog, teaching and insight…Do you know I am going through somewhat a similar situation only right in the middle of Orange County? 10 years ago we planted a large Schiffelera plant in our back raised bed which abutts against our shared block wall…(have you ever noticed how many block walls seperate yards and neighbors in So. Cal?) Well, last weekend our back neighbor strolled around the block to inform us that our “tree” (the shcifferlera plant which had grown to 20 feet high) was now cracking our shared block wall! Horrors! Horrors to the highest degree! There ensued the marathon chain saw massacre and carnage of our herbal screen against the neighbors back patio…we can just see over the top of the 6 ft. fence if we stand back aways and look! A simple house plant in So. Cal had turned into a block wall eating monster. I needed this devotional from you in the worst way. It’s going to cost hundreds perhaps a few thousand to repair. Uggh…and I’m the one who planted it! (It took hours of back breaking labor on all our parts – ours and our neighbor to get the carnage cleaned up!) Help me Jesus to use wisdom when we figure out from someone who is trained to know what to do, and instruct us in what is the proper “green screen” to plant, one that we can manage and won’t destroy block walls in 10 years! Thank God for Keith’s wisdom and knowing….and your “unlocking” God’s word for me at just the right moment! Love and appreciate your ministry -so much so that heaven will tell!

    • 221.1
      Karene says:

      Hi Pam, I’m an Orange County neighbor! I live in Yorba Linda. I think I’ve seen you comment before. Where are you? We should have an Orange County siesta coffee time, don’t you think 🙂 Thanks for the practical example of Beth’s post. (And yes, as a So Cal native, I’m amazed at the difference in our thinking compared to the rest of the country. We want our walls and fences. Hmmm, says a lot about us.)

      • Pam Houston says:

        Karene, I would love to meet you for an OC Siesta coffee time…yes, I’ve commented often on the blog! We live in Buena Park, 7 miles due west of D-land, and 2 miles So. of Knotts. I’m a So. Cal native too! I hope you see this post and we can connect somehow… my husbands name is Carl! We’re in phone book…love you in Christ Jesus.

  22. 222
    lori deason says:

    Dear Beth, thanks so much for your blog. It brought tears to my eyes a d joy to my heart. I really needed the encouragement. Our family has been in a drought the past few years. My mother had surgery that left her quadraplegic & has now been diagnosed with liver cancer, my grandmother, both my husband’s parents, 2 aunts, & our dog all died within a few weeks of one another, my brother has liver disease….well you get the idea. But there are wonderful things going on with us as well. The first thing that comes to mind are my 2 grown children and their Godly, devoted spouses. It occurs to me that dead wood can often be useful. Beautiful things can be made from it, fires to warm & delight us, mulch to fertilize & protect other growing things. God is good. He sometimes empties our hands, but then He fills us up with other beautiful things.

  23. 223
    Kinny Taylor says:

    Dearest Beth, your writing today reminded me that i cannot trust in man(me)being able to forgive, to love and to endure, only in my Jesus that enables me, THANK YOU JESUS! I am so grateful to you and all your wonderful Bible Studies, we have done a few of them here in South Africa and made some wonderful friends, as an added bonus. We love listening to you and Thank our wonderful LORD Jesus for His anointing on you.
    Love you tons!

  24. 224
    Laura says:

    Beth,
    Tremendous post. I could easily live in a tree house, but my husband and 5 children wouldn’t. Thank you so much for giving glory to God while seeing the “destruction”. You are a blessing. I am keeping this post for a long time and will be praying over it for things in my life I kept trying to keep alive that clearly need to die, be cut off and overall get out.

    As tears roll down my face I am listening to the Newsboys sing “My God’s not dead he’s surely alive!” Thank you for the imagery!
    Bless you

  25. 225
    Jill H. says:

    Oh Beth . . .thank you! What a powerful post that goes straight into my heart. Sitting in my drought is painful and I pray, with expectation, that the first sign of green will sprout soon! Love you dear sister in Christ!

  26. 226
    Susan says:

    Just need to say, pruning is painful and for a time you feel exposed and vulnerable.

  27. 227
    Michele says:

    Are you sure it will end? I struggle to hold onto the promise that “it came to pass.”

    Thank you.

  28. 228
    GJ says:

    Beth – this post is deeper than the roots of your trees that survived. You bless me!

    Job 14:7-9
    7 “For there is hope for a tree,
    When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
    And its shoots will not fail.
    8 “Though its roots grow old in the ground
    And its stump dies in the dry soil,
    9 At the scent of water it will flourish
    And put forth sprigs like a plant.

    Much love – so glad you’re home,
    Your friend GJ

  29. 229
    Hannah says:

    This morning as I was doing my daily morning ‘God Time’ He lead me to Isaiah 55 which is titled Invitaion to the Thirsty!! I had never read it before, but after I did it left me with a smile on my face!
    This verse spoke perfectly to what you are saying.. His verse.. His Word.. His saying…
    “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yeilds seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11

    Isn’t that just great! Especially as Spring is coming. A new dose of life.. a trusting word from God that nothing will go forth from Him without accomplishing His work!!!

    After reading that I wrote:
    Lord thank You for Your word that You wrote years and years ago that I feel and know is still written for this day today! I am thirsty my Sweet Mighty Ancient of Days!!

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    Tess says:

    Wow. This is incredibly powerful. Thanks be to our Lord for His words through you <3 And thank you, Beth, for being His willing vessel.

  31. 231
    sheila says:

    God continue to bless you and your man!
    There is so much wisdom in this single post that I need to print it out and think on these thoughts over the weekend. Thank you, In God’s Love, sheila

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    Joelle Roibal says:

    I am thankful for these thoughts of yours! In Abilene we experienced a similar drought. But going deeper this has helped me back up and take a look around to see a bigger picture of Gods working in my life. I appreciate the tree plated by water not worrying in drought verse and thoughts and needed to here that one today. Praise!

  33. 233
    Cheryl says:

    What an inspiring, timely word! . This means so much to us THIS day, as my husband of 33 yrs is having to “lay” down his earthly business. Thank you for abiding and proclaiming.

  34. 234
    Sali Morton says:

    Dear Beth:

    Thank you for such a beautiful picture of Spring or should I say springing forward.
    After two years of widowhood, I am finally clearing out the past. I am so sentimental about things. But, it is time to clear the closets and clear the clutter of loss. I have been a devoted student of yours for many studies and have loved them all. Not because your such a great teacher, you are. But because you have encouraged me to dig deeper on my own. Thank you.
    Life has shown me, I can not depend on myself or others, only the Lord. And in this last year alone He has proven to me how close He truely is to me every day.
    Things are making there way to the wayside and family,friends,and life is springing into place.
    Thanks again for your wonderful blog.
    I thank my Lord for you and you following His lead.
    God Bless!

    In His Wings,

    Sali Morton

  35. 235
    Jean Schlosser says:

    Dear Beth,
    I think your man and my man ought to meet. My husband loves
    to hunt and has such an appreciation for trees and nature
    like Keith. These verses, you shared, about the vine and
    oak of righteousness are some of my favorites, along with you. You are my favorite “human” writer. I will forever
    praise God for you because He used you to change my life
    forever. Don’t you just love the country? I am blessed
    to see trees and God’s wonderful creation, right outside
    my window. Thanks for all you do! Love in our Faithful
    Creator, Jean

  36. 236
    Darla says:

    Beth, it is SO good to hear from you again. I have MISSED your posts but am relieved to know you are home safe after your journey “down under”. I loved your analogy of spring….all of it.

  37. 237
    Janine says:

    Thank you, Beth! I just soak up the real-life, Biblical encouragement from your in-depth writing. Thank you for sharing your heart. The Lord has used you mightily in my life, pointing me back to Him and growing in the knowledge of Him since 1998. Bless you!

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    Polly Stone says:

    Beth I think you wrote this just for me. Recently moving from The Woodlands to the countryside of Magnolia we also have had the same experience. Cutting down 15 large trees from our property, experiencing the drought of the Houston area watching Spring arrive is a blessing. Also cutting out some dead areas of my life is refreshing as God works anew in me. Bless you for our Houston connection and for this blog and most of all our Lord and Savior and this time of resurrection. May you have a joyous Easter.
    One of the Houston girls. Polly

  39. 239
    rosalye says:

    Thank you, Beth. That is so true! Where I live the culprit is not the drought, but the heavy rains. When we found our country place the first priority was damming up the creek and putting in a lake. That lake was the center of our beautiful view for 10 yrs. We even put the lake in first so we could determine where the house would be. What none of our engineer friends or our engineer son realized was that the amount of run-off (drainage from acredge around us)began silting in the lake from the time we completed the dam. What was 20-30 ft. of depth soon became a place where your paddle hit the mud. Sadly, we drained it. Pretty scrubby looking out there, now 🙁 But although water destroyed something we prized, the key to our contentment lies in our “Living Water”.
    Bless you, my teacher! Thanking my God for you!

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    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Good to hear from you, Beth. I thought of this verse after reading the end of your post “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” Prov. 12:25. I want to strengthen what remains now, and I want to go deeper, trust God, and not fear…I needed this today. I am grateful to God for this encouragement through you. I want to serve Him with everything in me like you want to also…

  41. 241
    Adela Just says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t have read this during a lull at work because now I am fighting back sobs. I will be printing this off when I get home and tucking it in my journal and reading it over and over again. My husband and I have endured an excruciating drought, and even as “spring” seems to be coming, we are watching, waiting, holding our breath to see what is living and what has died. I will be wrapping my self around the Scriptures and truth in this for dear life. Thank you for your beautiful words and for receiving the Holy Spirit’s insight regarding the season.

  42. 242
    Pamela Sheldon says:

    Beth – I have a tree out front that is nothing but sticks part of the year – even summer and spring. I almost cut it down but decided to wait through the four seasons to see what it would look like. It turned out to be a magnificent tulip tree! Sometimes we have to wait to see what God is going to turn those old twigs into!

  43. 243
    Ashleigh says:

    Beth Moore, you are one very talented and gifted lady! And just in case nobody has told you today, Jesus loves YOU so!!

    When i blew up the picture of the huge oak in your in-laws yard, i noticed a palm branch next to the tree. If i am not mistaken (and i might be : ) ) palm braches signify Victory…anyhow i just found tht a very interesting sight! i think it goes well with your post!!

    PS. God has used you to change my life!! I dont know how many times i have prayed that God would let me meet you and give you a huge bear hug!! anyway , love you, and i hope you have a great day!

  44. 244
    Christine Mathews says:

    I have been meeting with a group of women for 8 years on Tuesday AM. The size of the group varies and the faces change–well, I mean, there are different people each year, not just that our faces are older!–but there is a core group of us who have been consistent. What remains stable is that we always do a Beth Moore Study. Obviously, I appreciate the study of God’s Word under your teaching. Thank you. We just finished JAMES Tuesday. Then I read this Blog Thursday. Now you are really messing with me, Beth…I DREAMED last night that you moved into MY neighborhood. You were laughing and talking with my Tuesday AM gals and me outside, then we walked to your house to meet your dogs. WOULDN’T THAT BE FUN?

  45. 245
    Emily Bowers says:

    I just wanted to leave a link to my daughter’s blog. She is fourteen and has just finished the James study, or perhaps I should say, devoured the James study. It has been a beautiful thing to hear her share what she is learning each day. Here is her blog: http://ebaiwebcast.blogspot.com/2012/03/thank-you-james.html
    If you get the opportunity to read this, I hope it blesses your heart like it did mine.

  46. 246
    Susan Smith says:

    Oh, Beth! I just discovered your blog today, and as is so typical of God, the timing couldn’t have been better! This posting spoke volumes to me, in so many ways, on so many levels. I was born and raised way out in the country in east Texas, and although I’ve lived in Dallas (Plano really) for 30+ years, I’m still a country girl at heart. What wonderful memories you conjured up!

    And just as the whole state of Texas experienced a horrendous drought, there have been pockets of drought in my own personal life during this past year or so. It would be so easy to focus on the things that withered and died. Thank you, Beth; thank you, GOD!, for reminding me to notice the living, to appreciate and celebrate the new life springing up in the midst of my own scorched places. Yes, lots and lots of new growth happening right now. Lord, help me not miss a minute of it!!!

  47. 247
    Amy says:

    Thank you for a beautiful devotion! Last year God brought me through a pruning that was painful and so not easy, but I am beginning to see the budding of new growth! Blessed be the name of the Lord!
    So. Glad to hear from you again…….

  48. 248

    Loved so much about this post. But my favorite reference was this beautiful sentence: 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.

    You get it right most of the time Miz Beth. Thank you for taking us on your journey. Felt like I was right there with you and Mr. Keith when those baby chicks chirped from above.

  49. 249
    Ruth says:

    Wow, Beth!! What beauty and wisdom in the midst of carnage. Thank you!!!!

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    diana says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing your heart and your insights. The Lord has used you much to help me know Him more.

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