Hope for the Barren and Dry Life
As a young teen I rebelled against my mother telling me what time to come home. I waltzed through the door at the last possible minute.
In high school I disliked teachers telling me how I needed to solve the math problems. What difference does it make what method I used if I arrived at the same answer?
And I didn’t appreciate any well-meaning friends who disagreed with my other “friend” choices.
If you are like me, you desire to be in control of your own life and may not even like the idea of God interfering with your life. This may even be a fear.
I rebelled against God because I didn’t want to follow His “old fashioned” or ancient rules either.
I disliked him telling me that I needed to wait. What difference does it make if I do things my own way as long as we arrive at the same place?
And I didn’t appreciate Him convicting me when I chose wrong.
I hesitated to surrender to God because I didn’t want to be a missionary. And I didn’t want to be a missionary because I didn’t want to have to eat something weird in a foreign land.
God calls us all to do something. It may be to turn away from sin, to tell someone about salvation, or to leave comfort behind in order to follow God’s will. He knows we don’t want to, but he still calls us to do it.
Isiah 53:2 ESV
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
Have you ever looked closely at a young sapling, so weak and frail struggling out of dry ground?
At one time my barren heart resembled the desert. But Christ within me was a tender shoot who grew like a root out of dry ground. I was not attracted to Christ, nor did I desire Him. But He transformed my heart anyway.
No matter how tender my faith grows, Satan is powerless to destroy it (C.H. Spurgeon). There is nothing that God can’t grow.
In the same way God watched the humble and lowly growth of his son Jesus; He watched over me like a mother watches over her weakest and most sickly child. And He watches over you too.
The culture we live in could be described as “dry ground” or corrupt, so where do we find our nourishment?
In the East it is not unusual to see a tall succulent plant growing from a soil which seems utterly devoid of moisture. Such plants have roots that strike deep and draw their nourishment from a hidden source.
For example the central and western regions of South Africa are almost constantly deprived of rain. There are no flowing streams and as a result very little well water exists.
The soil is a soft and light-coloured sand, which reflects the sunlight with a glaring intensity. No fresh breeze cools the air; no clouds veil the scorching sky.
However nearly all the plants in that environment have tuberous roots, buried far beneath the ground, beyond the sun’s scorching effects. The roots are composed of succulent tissue, filled with a deliciously cool and refreshing fluid. They have thick, fleshy leaves, with pores retaining moisture from a very dry atmosphere. If you break a leaf during a drought, you will still see abundant circulating sap.
Even in dry areas, God grows succulent roots. They are full of fluid even when the surrounding soil is dry as dust; and the enveloping air is utterly devoid of moisture.
Even when the horizon looks completely desolate and death seems near, God provides nourishment and creates life.
It is interesting that the plants living in dry ground are not dependent upon the soil for nourishment. Basically the soil supports them so they can expand.
Their nourishment comes entirely from the atmosphere. In the same way we are not to depend upon this world for nourishment. We are to be completely nourished by Christ Himself.
An important job of the root to hold the plant firmly in the soil, and prevent it from blowing away when the wind blows. In the same way Christ is the living root of our spiritual life. He holds us firmly within his grace, and grows within us a living faith so that our soul can receive heaven.
Another purpose which the root serves is to feed the plant. Jesus is the Bread of Life. He nourishes us everyday.
Let’s think about Christ growing up before the LORD as a young plant. Christ was born helpless. As a baby he was in great danger from Herod, because He lived in a corrupt world too.
And God chose to save him not by a powerful army but by fleeing into another land.
Has God chosen to save you not by a powerful army but by sending you into a different job, a new city, or even a new country?
When Jesus was nailed to the Cross to die, it appeared as if His whole life’s work utterly collapsed and His name would be forever stamped out. The disciples may have believed that the Cross was the death of Christianity in their own hearts.
But instead the power of the Divine Spirit came upon the Church.
Even when we sometimes think a plant is dead, rain brings forth new life. No matter what in your life may seem dead, God can bring forth new life.
When Jesus Christ came to you to save you, did He find any fertile soil in your heart?
It is okay to feel barren at times. We do not need to worry that we’ve missed something in our Christian walk.
Instead we need to say, “Lord, we are dry and need you. When you are near, fruit in our life grows.”
Don’t ever think that your heart or someone elses’ is too wicked for Christ to grow within them.
Never think it is useless to share the gospel with “them.”
Where ever there is dry ground, there is hope. After all Christ himself is a root out of dry ground.
Will you pray with me?
Heavenly Father, We praise you because you are the only nourishment that we need.
Thank you for transforming our hearts and growing our tender faith. Even when our dry circumstances seem dead, You are our hope.
For Christ’s words are tucked within our hearts beyond the scorching effects of this world. During the worst storms of life, the word of life is circulating within our mind and nourishing our soul.
You save us Lord in unexpected ways, and even when things look hopeless; your power pours into our lives and brings forth new life. Thank you Lord! In Jesus name, We pray. Amen.
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