Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thirsty Ground

To look outside at the grass turning brown and the flowers wilting is so sad. Just a few short weeks ago, all of the leaves were lush and green. The flowers were vibrant and full of life, now they look like they are barely surviving, like they could snap with the lightest touch. The ground is so thirsty its cracking. You wonder how much longer the plants can survive once they become brittle. The answer to the problem seems so simple.


It’s amazing how different things look the morning after a rain. It’s like life has been breathed back into each leaf, each petal and the flowers are ready to make it through another day of scorching heat.

Is your soul ever so dry that its surface begins crack? With each crack we grow more despondent, weary, tired, lonely, even bitter. Given long enough, the cracks widen and chunks begin to break off and crumble, leaving only a form of what was to remain. I know I have felt like that many times and I always wonder how it happened, how I got there. I recently read a verse that answered that question for me.

God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Psalms 68:6

Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land – that seemed like an awfully strong statement to me at first. “I’m not rebellious!” I thought to myself. As I pondered the verse further though, I realized how true it is. The original word for rebellious in this context means “to turn away”, “backsliding”, “stubborn”, or “withdrew”. Those aren’t words that automatically make me thing of rebellion. Rebellion makes me think of things like an out of control teenager sneaking out of windows or someone who paints graffiti on trains. This definition, however, shows me that rebellion is not always obvious, sometimes it’s more subtle. It’s subtle rebellion that leads my heart into the desert every time.

I’m too tired to pray.
I don’t “feel” like it.
You don’t HAVE to be a church to be close to God, I can worship right here.
I don’t have to read my Bible to go to Heaven.
I’ve worked hard and deserve a break tonight.
I was at church all day on Sunday – that’s enough.
What I’m doing isn’t hurting anyone else.
Why try to do better? I’ll never be good enough anyway.
No one will ever know.
I’ve waited to watch this show all week.

See how subtle those things are? We have all had those thoughts run through our minds and at first you wouldn’t see them as rebellion, but rebellion they are. They are all ways of withdrawing from Him, stubbornness, turning away, rebelling against the One who loves us.

Now that we’ve talked about rebellion, let’s take a look at the phrase dwell in a parched land. Dwell is an action word and it means “to live, to reside”. Since it’s an action word, it is something I do; I can choose to do it or not to do it. I cannot think of a time when I have been parched that I wanted to remain that way. If I was parched enough, I would even drink unsweet tea or a Diet Coke, for goodness sake, whatever it takes to quench my thirst! We don’t try to STAY parched, it’s uncomfortable and, after a while, our throats begin to hurt. Why do we dwell in a parched land within ourselves then? I wouldn’t chose to camp in a desert if there was a river just within my reach! Why stay in a state where my soul begins to hurt because it is so dry?

In every instance I can think of, where I have been spiritually dry, it’s been the result of my own rebellion, which over time leaves my heart dry, cracked, and brittle. The only cure that I have ever found is a little rain from the Father of Lights. He uses those wide open dry cracks in my heart to spill His love on down, deep to the core, and immediately I begin absorbing Him from the inside out.

And the morning after the rain, well, it is glorious!

Royal Princess Daughter of the King
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