Essays on Faith, Family and Culture

Spiritual Growth Requires Springs of Living Water

Our spiritual growth requires abundant springs of living water. What should we do when the well runs dry?

 

As a transplant myself, I appreciate how hard it is to take root and grow in new soil.

I should have recognized the signs of transplant shock in the redbud tree – and offered some salve, some support as it struggled to take root.

We moved the young sapling in the cool of an early June morning. We watered it for a while, lavishing care and attention on it in its new location.

By July, the leaves turned brown and crispy. They fluttered to the ground.

“It’s dead,” we thought.

We stopped watering it. We debated digging it up, but the heat of a Virginia summer held us back. “In the fall,” we thought, “we’ll dig it up and toss the remains in the woods.”

We forgot about the poor little redbud tree.

Then the rains came. The heavens opened and streams of water gushed from the sky in a torrential thunderstorm that poured forth over an inch and a half of rain in a short cloudburst.

And a leaf appeared.

Now one leaf, but two…then three heart-shaped leaves grew during the following days.

heart shaped leaf redbud tree

Our tree wasn’t dead but alive. It needed drenching showers of cool water on its roots to recover from the pain of being ripped up by its roots, dragged over the earth, and tamped into new ground. It had depleted itself and needed renewal.

I thought of my little tree today as I contemplated an email sent to me from a church friend who heads up one of the most public ministries at church. Not only did she resign from the ministry, but she also indicated she was leaving the church itself. Perhaps it would be temporary. Perhaps for good. She did not know. But she needed time and space to figure out for herself what she believed.

I think my friend is like my little redbud tree. She poured all her energy into the ministry, into leading this group and that group, into being an indispensable part of our little church community. But in the end, all this pouring forth of self left her own spiritual well dry – so dry and barren that in order to save her spiritual life, she felt she had to leave us, the church, for a while to replenish her store of spiritual grace.

We forget that people need to quench their spiritual thirst just as much as my little tree needed to quench its thirst. We need living water to heal our souls. If we are so busy we cannot drink the living water of God, we wither and die. Like my redbud tree, we dry up. We hit the spiritual dryness the saints spoke about. We fail to produce fruit.

I pray daily for my friend that she returns to the church. She’s poured out her own spirit to everyone else, and the well has gone dry, and she needs a good, quenching spiritual rain to put down fresh roots and push forth new leaves that look up towards heaven.

Pray for her, will you?


3 d i see youMy new book, I See You – Book 2 of The Majek Family Mysteries, will be released in Fall 2019. Read Book 1, I Believe You, in paperback or Kindle. Buy your copy on Amazon.com

 

 

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