“Those who trust in the Lord shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.  In the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22-23

We know what drought looks like … brown lawns, drooping flowers, withered leaves.  We know how drought feels … worrisome, especially for growers; wearisome (water again?!?); the smell of dusty earth.    Looking at that seemingly lifeless grass my husband frequently wondered aloud:  Is it dead or just dormant? 

Then in one weekend 2,3, 4, 5 inches of rain watered the ground!  Dust turned into clay.  Flowers lifted toward the sky, and hopefully fields.  Grass turned green.  Not dead – just dormant – revived with the gift of a washing. 

Drought can feel like … anger, fear, loneliness, helplessness; sad, vacant eyes.  Our spirits dry up – our love, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – our vineyard shrivels.  We are producing no goodness.  Dead … or dormant?

Dormant.  We need a washing to revive our parched spirits – to wake us from self-absorbed, anxious, worried, slumber of the spirit.   We are watered by the grace of God, the gifts of the Spirit poured upon us by family and friends and knowing God will not leave us uncared for.  The seeds planted within us will grow again, so we again produce those good fruits to share with others.

Bountiful God, we praise you for the beauty and bounty of upper Midwest Autumn; the smell of the changing Earth and rain; your cleansing waters in Baptism, and daily renewal.  We know drought persists.  We know others have suffered devastating floods.  We pray an abundance of the fruits of the Spirit move us to share of our abundance of fields and orchards.  Amen

Verla Olson