Days, weeks, and months pass, and still the dry wind stirs the dust as it travels across the plains. Spring flowers whose delicate petals unfurled and flourished after deep drenching rains last spring, are left in tatters in the wake of the dry winds, their torn blooms a bright spot of color against the dry, colorless, grass and scattered, spindly, weeds.

It strikes me how much harder it is for the earth to flourish and withstand the harsh winds that buffet it when the wind follows bright days of sunshine rather than the cloudy days of rain. The sunshine is bright and beautiful, it fills the earth with light and we long for the warmth and light it gives, but it is the dark days of rain that gives the earth its resistance to the drying effects of the wind.

I have gardened for long enough to know that my flowers need a regular drenching, but it is easy for me to admire their beauty in the soft light of the morning sun and temporarily forget their need for water. It is only after the afternoon wind begins to whip them about that I notice they are desperate for water.

I once read that when our bodies begin to thirst for water, we are already dehydrated. I think the same may be true for our spirits. When we long for the Lord we have already allowed our hearts to become parched. When those harsh winds of life pummel our spirits, we then cry as David, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”

It seems such an odd paradox that it is in the warmth of those bright cloudless days that we often wander from the streams of living water and allow our soul to become dry. When life is dark and rain clouds burst upon us, we are then found seated by the bank afraid to move. In those storms of life, we find refuge and comfort in the living water and we drink till we thirst no more.

Oh, I pray both for myself and those whom I know and love that we could be as the tree planted by the rivers of water, which brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither. I pray that our roots would grow deep so that our hearts would not wander in days of warmth and sunshine. Oh, that we would drink ever deeper from the streams of living water and soak up the sun, that our countenance would be a reflection of joy and that our hearts would have the strength of a well hydrated spirit.