One of the delights of country living is the watching the landscape change with the seasons. I have a front row seat to the lazy transformation of fields from whitewashed in winter to windswept russet in early spring. I anticipate the first shoots of green after the planting and stand in awe each summer as the land washes verdant as far as the eye can see.
Every fall, when the growth season is long over, the land is drenched in shades of honey and gold. It’s a striking effect collectively, but look closely and you will find plants that are brittle and dull. The lush green acres have faded to a desolate sea of drying plants neither golden or nor honey.
The leaves crackle listlessly in the breeze as they await the harvest. And up close, it’s very not pretty at all. But it is necessary.
The plants stand in patient submission to the sun day after day after day as it does its drying work. Why? Because the corn can’t be seed or fuel or feed until it has dried out. So it’s is a critical step in the process. This drying out. This waiting. This fading in the sun.
We celebrate the sun as it breathes life and shines light. But rarely do we think about the way it can dry, cure and bring life to maturity. And these functions are just as essential as life and light.
Observing the drying process brings to mind the various faith seasons in the life of a Christ-follower. We welcome with joy the mountaintop highs of our faith – those times when we feel so close to God we could burst with the fullness of Him. We long for the days of spiritual growth so fast and sure it takes our breath away. And we bask in assurance when we sense He is near.
But the dry times? The times we feel like we are withering in the sun? The times we have spent toiling the soil only to wait and wonder if a harvest will ever come? Who would welcome these?
Maybe we should.
We know that God is always at work in our lives. Even when we feel like we are dry. And I wonder if we yield to the drying and just stand in obedient, patient submission to the Son, we will come to appreciate the dry season for what it is. A time of rest. A time of strengthening. A time to fortify and mature us. And a time to prepare us to withstand what is coming around the bend.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14
If you find yourself in a dry season, don’t lose hope. Keep facing the Son. Trust in the God who promises never leaves us nor forsake us. And know that He will bring a new season, a new harvest and renewed growth in His perfect time.