“Sometimes I wonder where are the fruits of the Spirit in my life?” A friend recently expressed frustration…not feeling joy or peace or patience…fruits of the spirit.
“I know I’m feeling sorry for myself, but sometimes I just let myself go there.”
Of course I said what she knows, “the pity pot is a dead end road.”
Trouble is, it’s easy to rest and hang in that space…even when we know better.
Always remember there is always someone somewhere else in the world who would be happy to change places with you. I read that last week…just when I began to throw myself a pity party. Watching the news, I am daily reminded of my blessings. (that I don’t always count one-by-one)
“I am so tired it seems I don’t have time to hardly pray anymore.”
We can all get there, with good reason. Kids that demand care and nurturing day in day out. Add social or learning difficulties, mental or physical handicaps. Parents that require attention and caregiving…and their own sadness. Grieving their friends or family members dropping like leaves daily from their once thriving tree of life. Spouses dealing with demands and life transitions that drain them or dull them or tweek them.
Somehow, we have to find the time to water our souls.
Today I have to water my Dad’s pine tree. I will leave early on the way to the gym and stop at Lowe’s for a long soaker hose. The pine tree is dropping mountains of brown needles now and I can see the poor dry branches praying to the heavens.
Unfortunately, LAST SUMMER a friend, an arborist, told me to buy a 50 foot hose and irrigate the pine for several hours every two weeks. Lay it around the base of the tree spreading it several feet apart. Cover the hose with mulch and leaves which will improve the soil.
Have I done it? No. Until today, it hasn’t been bad enough. I felt really sad for that tree looking at it.
I think we do the same things to our souls. Given particularly long seasons of giving and caring, dry, with children, aging parents, or trying times in marriage….sometimes we get tired of nurturing. So we don’t even nurture ourselves. We dry up and wilt on the pot. WE know it. Others see it. Our behavior displays it.
Trouble is, no one can water us, unless we do. Our arms are that handle to the watering jug just like it was once the arms of the little teapot. Remember the song we sang growing up?
“I’m a little teapot short and stout (isn’t that the truth), here is the handle here is the spout, tip me over and pour me out.”
We’re still children. We’re God’s children and we need His care.
When I am feeling dry as the summer heat, it is time to sit in the backyard early morning. Birds sing there. Shade shields the sun while the air is cool. The Psalms sing God’s loving kindness and I can be still enough to inhale trust in my Heavenly Father, like a little child again, enough to last the day.
I can inhale grace that brings compassion for those around me who need me to be there for them today.
And I can exhale criticism that leads to complaint and discouragement and disease in me.
No, I, we don’t need to curl up and turn brown like an unwatered rose bush. So I prayed with my friend this morning.
We watered ourselves with the fountain God provides daily. His grace like a fountain, His grace sufficient for the day. We will continue to live and thrive even in the drought.
Just because it’s a dry spell doesn’t mean our plants have to wilt and brown and curl up. I just finished watering the roses. I’ve filled a large cup with ice, water, coffee and mocha mix. I’ve got my Bible and devotions, my journal and my pen. My guitar and my chords. It’s my turn.
Jeremiah 17:7 But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. 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.
Psalm 87:7 As they make music they will sing, All my fountains are in You.
Psalm 1:2,3 Blessed is the man whose…delight is in the Law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruits in season and whose leaf does not wither.