The ancient tree in our yard lost a branch.
Not just a little branch either.
The air was still. The day was sunny. There had been no storm. No rain to speak of for weeks.
Pop. Crack. Down it came.
The wound was jagged, gaping.
This mighty maple with roots so deep now bears the scar of drought.
For the first time, it occurred to me that this tree may not live forever. This woody giant who captivated me with its immense footprint and octopus-like branches had felt the effects of lack of rain and cried out in thirst.
Don’t worry. I’m not losing it. My emotional response to the dropped branch surprised me too, so I pondered.
Sometimes it feels like God is far away.
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?
Psalm 42:2 NLT
I know He is with me….
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalm 16:8 NLT
….but it seems like the well has run dry.
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you;
My whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 NLT
These dry life times could be brought on by a difficult circumstance, disappointment, busyness. Sometimes it is the effect of my own wrong-doing.
However, with God there is always hope.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
He is my God. I am His child. I trust Him with my whole life.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-9 NLT
Like the tree, you and I may bear the scars of drought. Jagged edges of doubt or fear or anger can be seen in the midst of fruit borne through prayers prayed, good deeds done, and gracious words spoken.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
Psalm 92:12-14 NLT
Our Redeemer God, has provided for our sustenance, healing, and growth.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 103:2-5 NLT
Sometimes His care includes getting rid of that which is dead. The nasty attitude needs to change. The time stealers must be expelled.
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit,
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
John 15:2 NLT
So I trust.
They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
Psalm 112:7 NLT
A week after the branch came down the debris had been cleared and we had rain. Life-giving, soul-soaking rain.
Things are different after a drenching rain. The grass is green again. I do believe the sky is even bluer.
Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say!
Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew.
Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.
Deuteronomy 32:1-2 NLT
I hope you are encouraged to get soaked in God’s presence today.
Don’t take your umbrella. Lift your face and let Him cover you.