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. 251
    Karen says:

    Thank you for this. I really needed to hear this today.

  2. 252
    Rebecca in SC says:

    Beth,
    This is beautifully written! Reminds me of my Mom and her love for the land, trees and all things gardening.

  3. 253
    Kathy says:

    Loved this post Beth! My man is also a “tree-man”. I LOVE the outdoors and God has OFTEN used His creation to teach me. Those teachings seem to be the ones that linger in my heart and come up quickly when I need help.

    I really liked your comment @ the difference between growing a tad older and just plain getting old. As my body changes, I’m unable to do all that I long to do or used to do. Sooo, my sweet guy has suggested something new and different for us and I have been hesitant. Think now I’ll put some effort into planting something new and letting go of that which is and has been dead.

    Thank you for continuing to share with us as you and Jesus go through your new season.

    Kathy

  4. 254
    mindi says:

    I cant tell you how much I needed and enjoyed reading this just now. Trees just speak to my heart and my heart needs some speaking to. I fell in love with trees when I heard you speak here Grand Rapids a few years ago. I have looked at trees in a whole new way since then. My heart does want to be ruled and Im so quick to lose focus sometimes on the One who knows my heart better than I do. I LOVE trees. I LOVE the way that God designed trees and I love that they parallel our lives and spiritual conditions. I needed to read this and soak it in, to be reminded of my Creator in a fresh way, just like those trees need rain. Its been a very long and dry spell in some very painful areas of my life this year. I dont want my focus to stay there so I think I may keep my eyes up and maybe look at a few trees today too. ps. I cant wait to see trees in heaven!

    • 254.1
      mindi says:

      I almost forgot. One of my most favorite songs when I was a child was “The Tree Song” and it still is. The other one that just moves my heart and makes my soul sing is “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band. “I am a Tree bending beneath the weight of His wind & mercy, When all of a sudden,I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, And I realise just how beautiful You are, And how great Your affections are for me.” I don’t think I will ever get over those words. Plus, God made me really tall (just over 6′ so I have always just stood out like a sore thumb. I’ve actually been called a tree although then I did not take it as a compliment. I think He made me tall just so I couldn’t hide in the background no matter how much I want too & because someone needs to be able to help others reach the things on the top shelf at the grocery store 😉

  5. 255
    Lori T says:

    I love you too, Beth.

  6. 256
    Candace says:

    SO good. Thanks!

  7. 257
    Brandi says:

    My first thought – “Beth sure has much to say about trees.” When I got to the very last paragraph, I realized God had just used you to sum up several “issues” in my life. So, then I had to read the post again with these things in mind. I understand. So much is being cut off, and it hurts. Feel so lean of soul and spirit that I have unknowingly feared that nothing remains. I will wait and see. Thank you for having so much to say, I love you and love that He speaks to us in so many ways. Difficult things to think through, but happy to finally understand what to think about.

  8. 258
    Mary says:

    And I love YOU so much, Beth Moore! You wrote this post for ME (I’m sure others too) and I am grateful, as it spoke volumes to me. These are words I needed tonight, words Jesus, through you, spoke to me. Let me say while I have your attention, your Bible Studies are amazing gifts to me, as are your books. I thank you, Beth, for being a strong, enthusiastic, loving, and teaching vessel of God our Father. You have truly touched my life. Glory to God!!! LOVE this post and analogies!!

  9. 259
    Vickie says:

    Beth,

    Isn’t Gods creation so beautiful? As I sit in Gods lil treehouse by the river…He so lovingly allows me to live in, I can see Him everywhere. Ya know, just like we have a tent(our physical body), that others can see, I wonder if Gods creation,(this covers ALL), may possibly be His physical appearance, at least to the point of what our limited minds can take in? For just now…in the time being…until He returns. This is just one of the many ways He reveals Himself to us. I believe His word is His heart. I truly desire His word to be my heart also. Do you think we all desire Him, but do not recognize the original desire to be Him? Because we do not recognize the original desire, we try to fill the God place in us, with other everything due in part, to Eden, gen sin and self..which is, apart from God, satan in drag. Whether we ever realize it in our lifetime or not…He placed this desire in us, for Him. What a most Loving God is He, in countless ways. I sure do love Him….and you too…along with all the siestas here in siestaville! 🙂

  10. 260
    Kathy says:

    wow, haven’t been near a computer for over a week- taking care of a mother who suffers with dementia- I feel as if I have PTS- physically and emotionally after a week with her-I keep thinking that any day I’ll get my energy back- what in the world?

    This past year has been the drought of droughts in my life-360 degrees covering almost all areas of my life- never would or could have imagined- after 62 years, I never dreamed I would be caught in such an unexpected drought- I’m looking for those living sprigs to sprout forth- thank you for this post- blessings and more blessings to you and yours

  11. 261
    mercy4Drew says:

    I read that text from Jeremiah 17 the day I buried my father in 2007. Talk of a long standing oak in my life!In fact, he taught me to run a chain saw too.

  12. 262

    This was perfect! Would you believe I just finished the study you did on James, week 7, Between the Rains? As I face move # 24 in only 23 years of marriage, it easily feels like a drought.

    But, I’ve been so inspired this week.

    Granny used to say, “It feels like rain’s a comin, it smells like rain’s a comin, I think we’re gonna have a shower today.”

    I see my rain clouds coming!

    Blessings!
    Cindy

  13. 263
    Tanya says:

    Thank you. What a beautiful comparison you made. For my husband and I, and now our 2 children, it seems that winter has often been a time of contemplation, a waiting time, and then change occurs in the spring. Many turning points in our lives have been “planted” in the winter (of all seasons to plant!) and given birth in the spring! Perhaps we’re like spring flower bulbs.
    We’ve recently moved and are hoping that our other house will sell quickly. I’m trusting that the Lord has His plan and it is good.
    Thank you again for the reminders of God’s faithfulness and His “pruning nature.”

  14. 264
    Jennifer T says:

    Timely, timely post! When I read it (couple days ago) I sent it to a friend who is TOTALLY LIVING this kind of season. I’m so grateful for your open heart and gift for writing… and that it was JUST what my friend needed to read. The Lord is so sweet that way.

  15. 265
    Teketa says:

    I’m on my lunch break. Enjoying the real and word pictures of spring and the application of it to my life. Thank you for the post. Thank you for allowing God to use you. Thank you for your faithfulness. His words through you have brought me ‘Spring’ many times over. I just had to let you know that Jeremiah 17:7-8 are my verses for 2012. And I had to smile when you used them in your post. It was the Lord reminding me He is faithful even in the drought. The LORD bless you and keep you.

  16. 266
    Wanda Carnahan says:

    Beth….thank you! Needed this…

  17. 267

    I love this. I could really relate to it. Years ago, I lived in Florida when I hurricane took down a huge oak tree in my family’s front yard. It was laying there, blocking our driveway for weeks. Looking at the destruction was difficult and surreal. But God makes everything new. I love your analogies. I’m a 20 year old writer and you have inspired me so much 🙂 Thank you!

  18. 268
    Janet Fountain says:

    I am not sure how to respond. I know I read it with an open heart…for I am searching to find God’s will for a ministry that he started in me 10 years ago for women who do not have the time or money to attend large conferences. A Monday night in Sept. gives those who come an idea how much worshiping with other Christian women means and those who have lost all hope a reminder that hope is Christ alone. How do I reach my corner of the world? Do we continue? or does God have something new even a new leader? Please pray that God will show me how to reach my corner of the world so that young mothers will be encouraged to teach their children at their knee…the broken will find hope…our county will be revived and through us our state, our nation, and our world for the sake of our children. Ministry is lonely. especially when your husband doesn’t know the Lord, but God has blessed me for 48 years allowing me to work w/children and teens and now in my later years w/the help of women who are reaching out beyond the church. For $5.00 they are served a pick-up supper and a speaker that God has hand-picked every year since we left my house and started using the college…from 10 to 350-650 God has grown us…just pray that it’s Christ alone I am serving. I don’t know what I am suppose to do…your words always touch me for I know they are not your words or thoughts, but God’s. Thank you for praying and for listening.

    Janet, Lake Lure, NC

  19. 269
    moongirl says:

    This was such a beautiful post. Thank you. I wanted to tell you that last year we had the wettest year in our history! We had a HUGE flood that even caused a home nearby to end up in the middle of the river. MANY homes were destroyed. MANY! And then the rain… it didn’t stop raining for 3 months. It was like North Dakota because Washington state. We had moss growing every were. Mushrooms all over our yard. Crickets multiplying by the second. Uncommon plant and animal life everywhere! So strange. We also didn’t see the sun for 3 months. Like we never got summer. And then they forecasted that we’d have over 200 inches of snow this year!! We were SO concerned for the water table and water levels of the river again come spring! Thinking perhaps we’d see history repeat itself 2 years in a row! And then, God did something magnificent. He gave us a winter like never before. A DRY winter! A WARM winter!! A SUNNY winter! JUST what so many needed in order to breath again! Now we’re almost too dry…. But we’re not complaining either. Just trusting in the Lord in this time. I pray your forecasters will be wrong as ours were too!! He is SO gracious. I can’t wait to see His grace in your part of the country too! Thanks you again for this post!! Much Love!!!

  20. 270
    magie says:

    Being a dweller of 40 acres of my own and watching these same lessons from a southern Colorado landscape I couldn’t be more thankful for your comments, I thank God for you and your ministry dear Sister…you are,as always in my prayers.

  21. 271
    CDN Lady J says:

    Dearest Beth, if there was EVER a time i needed to hear those words, now is the time. i too am struggling in the soul soil of discontent…to many family calamities if you will that has shaken my timber to the core. and alas the near by trees have all but lost their nurtrients to help me grow through it. i have found a few whom i can depened….but growing through pain alone is not easy. i do desire the fruit, i know it will come. it’s just letting dead things die. harder still when i’ts not trees but people in my instance. i’m trusting God, he is my sourcce of all things in life, including my own. i pray i can see theseedling that desires to become more than what the old oak tree was for many a year in my life. the scariest part is that for a seedling it needs themost protection until it can stand on its own. i account the prayers and support of many for this. otherwise i’d be a twig and not a branch that can bear my Heavenly Vinedresser’s fruit. May he be blessed by the work he does in me through this time. thank you again for yoru encouragement. blessings , Lady J.

  22. 272
    Kimberly says:

    I’ve come back to this post over and over the last several days. I have a sister who is going through a mighty tough situation right now and I truly want her to understand just how much God can use this time in her life for His good. I believe it and am trusting Him to help her to believe it as well.

    Thank you so much Beth for sharing this! Just what I need!

  23. 273
    Jackie says:

    Hello Beth. I made a post on Gay’s functioning years testimony. How things have changed since then when you urged me to hold tight to Jesus! My husband is clear of the cancer we feared. Jesus has been so close to me but things have moved on so fast I am fearful of the future.. I have been asking God for help and suddenly there is a clear way forward. I have a high powered prestigious job that has been slowly killing me. It has been the main part of my life andI know that it was too big for me. God has given me the opportunity to cut this out of my life when I have been striving to paper over cracks. I can retire early this summer. I am now scared of what this will mean for me and my husband – will this be enough for me?
    This blog is bringing me so much closer to the Lord and he is speaking to me through it. I am facing up to issues which I have allowed to drift .I need to plant up this fertile ground with reality and authenticity and stop the daily drinking. There is a lot of dead wood being chopped and light coming in. I pray for strength to nurture what has been neglected and hear the plan the Lord has for me now.

  24. 274
    Seddy Bear says:

    I have felt recently like the rain is coming, but had not realized I have been waiting in the land of drought. Let the fire come to consume the dead and the rain to revive the living.

  25. 275

    So Timely! I haven’t “checked in” bloggy world in a while and as I was reading this post, my husband is teaching my 16 year old son how to use the chain saw just outside my front door… I hear the sound of our humming chain saw right now!!! NO JOKE. As they cut down an old oak in our front yard (it is 75% dead wood), I reflect on God’s word in John 15 and the many other Scriptures pertaining to trees. Isn’t God’s timing so perfect and His word so true. This post has a message I need to internalize and continually remind myself. Thank you, Jesus.

    Love you all~
    Teri in Corpus Christi

  26. 276
    Marcia says:

    Thank you so much for that post. It spoke to me in so many ways. I know I need to read it again.

    Thank you for making the blog a priority. The Lord has used it to speak to me many many times either through the posts or the comments. I am grateful . I love you too.

  27. 277
    J says:

    Seems this community is made up of the young and the tad bit older young-at-heart. Having gone/going through a very dark desert like this for 5 years in my 20’s, I SO could have benefited (still could!) from the encouragement and wisdom of some of you who have already been through these seasons of darkness – those who are ‘seasoned’ in their faith.

    Please let God use you to invest in someone younger in the faith than yourself. You have so much to offer! Even if you haven’t been through a desert season, you STILL have so much to offer! It’s like a mentor once said to me (I think Paul said something similar), “Follow me as I follow Christ!”

    We younger ones need you.

  28. 278
    Barbara says:

    Beth,

    You have such a gift of writing and of making Biblical truths so practical to us. Thank You. I read this the day you posted it and have had to re-read and digest it a bit. When my dad got sick three years ago and passed away two and a half years ago I entered a drought I’m still in the midst of. It’s not that I have given up on faith in Jesus or that I don’t believe He is with me and takes care of me every moment or that He’s not worthy of my time and dedication. It’s just that I’ve felt my relationship with Him dry up. Drought. He’s had nothing to do with it. I wish that I could say that after following Christ for 40 plus years my faith is unshakeable. I’ve prayed for years and long for the day I can truly have a real and vibrant relationship with the Lord as is apparent in yours. I’m still counting on Him to do as 1 Peter 5:10 says.

    I love you back big time!

    PS – Two years ago neighbors had two huge, healthy trees cut down (just before they moved to a different house by the way…) because they didn’t like raking the leaves in the winter. Now that the trees are gone, my house gets A LOT hotter in the summer and much colder when the wind blows in the fall and winter….. : (

  29. 279
    Linda Gaye Russell says:

    OH! WOW! The Holy Spirit speaks so clearly through you to my understanding!

  30. 280
    Diane says:

    Thank you so much Beth for these timely words!

  31. 281
    Kim says:

    Thanks, Beth, for posting this! Isaiah 61:3 is my Scripture Memory Verse this month! You have such a gift in telling a story. I so appreciate your posts!

  32. 282
    Kelli says:

    I must have missed the reason behind the move to the country….but welcome to the world of silence that is noisy. I love living in the country and realized the other day that even though it is quite here most of the time, it is also noisy here. Noise of dogs playing in the field, birds chirping, cats meowing, calves crying for mommas, and on and on and on. All this definitely helps me hear God’s voice….

  33. 283
    Erna says:

    Thank you for the lessons about the heart of our desire. I listened them all the past two weeks and it helped me to make some decisions!! Even if these decisions mean I will have to wait much longer for some of my desires of my heart will come true. Trusting God is the most important thing there is, in the meantime I hope I will be doing a lot of good. I am curious to see where He will take me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH and keep up the good work.
    Lots of love from Holland!!

  34. 284
    Penny Seibert says:

    Thank you Beth…
    I’ve been in a drought…God has worked through you beautifully with this post.
    Especially the Jeremiah passage..
    I am grateful for what He has given me through you today.
    ~with love, Penny

  35. 285
    Darlene says:

    Dearest Beth,
    Oh, how I needed to read this today! Caring for my 84 year old father with dementia has been hard over the past 12 years. I have felt like I was in a drought. Your words of encouragement here have touched my spirit today. Thank you for such insight!!!

  36. 286
    Lisa says:

    You have no idea how much this post has meant to me!
    I have felt like I am dying a slow physical and spiritual death for some time now.
    Thank you for your words, thank you for reminding me of God’s Word, thank you for you!!!
    Have a blessed day!

  37. 287
    Kim says:

    Sweet Beth,

    I just wrote a personal blog entry on listening and trusting and God guided me to this blog as I wanted to tag one of your stories. Your words and guidance to Jeremiah 17:5-8 is exactly what I needed for the two boys I am mentoring and mentioned in my blog post: http://www.KimCooleyToday.wordpress.com

    This is my first visit to your blog and now it is being added to my daily feedblitz to make sure I don’t miss anything.

    We had to remove what a professional tree man 9 years ago called one of the largest Dogwood he had seen in our area and a Red Bud earlier this March. We still need to clean out our Ash trees to get rid of some of the dead weight that Mr. Spring mentioned but we’re having to wait for the extra funds for that.

    God’s Peace to you and yours!
    Kim

  38. 288

    Hello – I would like you to know that we wrapped up a Citywide Women’s Bible Study in Fremont, Nebraska, on March 29.
    Our study was Beth Moore’s: James – Mercy Triumphs. Our largest group on the first night was 47. With other sessions we had somewhere between upper 20s and 40 women attend.
    We had conflicting schedules with a high school play, girls basketball team making it to state and other events. A couple women had surgery. Another has a sick daughter.
    Women came as they were able; I’ve heard various stories of how blessed the women who attended were by the study.
    Thank you Beth Moore for allowing God to use you and your great gift. I’ve learned so much through your studies. I know others in our community of 26,000 have too!
    By the way, our study was open to women from all churches. I think women from about nine different churches – probably more – attended. It was a very unifying event. We’re hoping to do more.
    Thanks again! Tammy

  39. 289
    Sherry says:

    Weeping, weeping! This was profound in soooo many ways. God is Sovereign. Today was the day for me to read it. 8 long months I have been praying over a matter. Would love to sit across from you girls with my journal and share! God used the time to prune me and I’ve finally almost released the last “dead tree” to Him. He whispered John 15 to me while I was pruning trees last year and it has just stuck with me ever since. He also whispered SPRING is coming to me over and over through different books I’ve read, devotions, people, the word has been everywhere and now you Beth…His hand just never ceases to amaze me. Abba Father!!

  40. 290
    Lurlene says:

    Just so needed this today! “Things that look dead aren’t always dead.” Can’t even express it, it is so deep but thanks to The Creator! Who sustains life “spiritual and physical” when things look as if death has won. I needed reminding of our Faithful Father, our Creator.
    I am so thankful for how this just ties in with the Resurection theme. Thank you for sharing!

  41. 291
    Marilisa Jimenez says:

    Thank you Woman of God. The Bible tells us that all creation speaks of His glory and He wasn’t kidding. I have thought so much about planting and how each season is all about this. Seed, Time, and Harvest, as long as the earth shall remain. God is Good, He is faithful and His voice rings out throughout the earth! Thank you again.

  42. 292
    Deb S. says:

    Okay, so I have to tell you. My husband feels the exact same way about trees! We only have two acres but at any given time, he is nurturing 6 or 7 new trees! Thank you for this and reminding us of the verse from Jer. 17. Happy Easter!

  43. 293
    Noelle says:

    Thank you Beth! We had a fire last summer, took everytree, theLord spared our home, but it really broke our hearts. We had just moved from suburbia to rural area to let our 3boys roam free!! HE in his infinite mercy has taught this heart so much. I so wanted to cling to what was….now we have a beautiful field of wild flowers. Glory to Him who makes all things new & beautiful in His time.

  44. 294
    peg nichols says:

    Beth! What a gift for telling stories with words…allowing the Holy Spirit to translate what you are seeing and feeling into a word picture and letting us personalize it for ourselves…very interesting reading and helpful…Thank you Keith for being there to help Beth continue in words what to share…I just happened on this blog this morning and it was just what I needed…

  45. 295
    J R says:

    I love this post. I love that there are people who love and appreciate trees as the awesome works of God that they are. My grandma loves God and His trees and passed down that love to me 🙂

    I really hope they are wrong about the drought too…I feel like the lack of rain makes me feel parched just like the plants!

  46. 296
    tara says:

    Speaking of life, my kiddos and I have been following this live webcam of a mother and father eagle feeding there three eaglets… it’s been especially captivating for my two boys as the father brings fish, rabbits and small birds to the nest. The Living Proof gang might find this fun to watch 🙂

    Link: http://static-cdn1.ustream.tv/swf/live/viewer:55.swf?cid=1/3064708&vrsl=c:176

  47. 297
    Ann says:

    Beautifully written Beth! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  48. 298
    Margie says:

    Thanks for sharing your Spring. It’s my favorite time of year. Love you too!

  49. 299
    Margie says:

    Beth,

    Very little has fed and encouraged my heart as much as this post. What a perfect affirmation of this season of my life.
    A sudden and serious illness has shelved me for the last 4 months and I can testify that digging down deep into the Living Water throughout this painful and totally powerless drought has strengthened my faith and kept the fruit coming and has shown me the goodness of God in a way I’ve never, ever seen or experienced before.

    Thank you for this. I will certainly share this with my friends.
    Margie

  50. 300
    Elise says:

    Thanks for sharing this. We have been going through a long season of winter (for about the past 18 months) at our house. God has been near and now we are beginning to see some signs of spring. He is my refuge, my strength, my healer…He is an amazing God.

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