I don’t especially enjoy Kansas summers, when the temperature refuses to drop below 100 degrees and the land shrivels before my eyes. The hope of spring–vegetable plants birthing in moist earth, flowers growing dreamily along the sidewalk, trees pushing out their delicate green–is ruthlessly burned on the ash-heap of summer.
Every year I feel the despair of a person who loves to garden. Few things make me as happy as the science and art of growing plants. But sooner or later, the Kansas sun always wins. I often think of the verse in James that says,
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes.
James 1:11a (ESV)
The drought blows deep into my soul, and I feel dry, brittle, listless.
My feet crunch through the brown grass and my spirit feels just as dead.
Dreaming feels like an impossible waste of time.
Anything that takes any energy feels like a waste of time.
I’m lonely, and turn to reading light, pointless novels and social media, and then I feel worse because it all contributes to the feeling of futility.
This morning I dragged myself out of bed. I cooked breakfast, silently drank my coffee, and dreaded the day. I didn’t feel like doing anything.
Then I read this verse:
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
Psalm 121:5 (ESV)
I felt a twinge of hope. I went on to read the next few verses.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
Psalm 121:6-7 (ESV)
He will keep your life.
I need this reassurance, oh how I need it! Turning to Jesus for refuge, for living water, for spiritual life, is the only way I can get through these times of drought.
I’m going to make it through this Kansas summer–
with the Lord as my shade.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
What nourishes you during seasons that are difficult for you?