Spring's Hope For Renewing the Dry Places - Serenity in Suffering
Pondering the timid entrance of Spring in these chilly days of early April, my mind continues returning to the theme of renewal. Awed and inspired by the resiliency of creation as new life pops up in even the untidiest of gardens. I wonder at the strength of tiny green tips poking through dry mulch and dead leaves. All inviting the embrace of spring’s hope for renewing the dry places in my own spiritual garden.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends. Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always. We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning to “be still”, so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
Spring’s reminder of renewal
A vital component of a mature Christian’s walk with God, the need for spiritual renewal often goes unnoticed. But spring’s hope for renewing the dry places in creation, also invites us into a closer look at the needs of our own spiritual garden.
Seasons of life take their toll on our spiritual garden in the same way the change of meterological seasons and harsh weather conditions challenge creation.
Trials, prolonged suffering, illness, and pressures of every day life create the need for spiritual renewal. Spring’s hope in creation reminds us renewing the dry places in our spiritual lives brings the refreshment we need after harsh seasonal changes.
spring’s reminder of the need for renewal
Some of my favorite plants in my garden are those which come up out of the ground new each year. Hostas, Indigo, daisies, daylilies, and Jacob’s Ladder flourish year after year, with new growth coming up in the midst of dry, dead leaves and stems.
Each year new growth begins again, bringing forth a plant a little bigger and better than the year before. Observing all of the new growth on our many Jacob’s Ladders, I marvelled how tender new leaves undeterred by the amount of dead brush, still pushed upward.
Unless each plant produces new growth, it remains dry and dead; its growth stunted. Likewise, God desires we experience spiritual renewal every day, producing new growth.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Due to our sin nature and separation from God, our physical bodies deteriorate day by day moving towards ultimate physical death. But God sent His Son, Jesus, to purchase our redemption, providing eternal life for our spiritual inner man. (John 3:16)
In Christ, God provides the way to renewal of the inner, spiritual man, which will one day become evident, springing forth from the dead remains of our physical bodies.
renewing the spiritual dry places
In the meantime, embracing spring’s hope for renewing the dry places, helps us tend our spiritual gardens. As I pulled away dead stems and debris from around a few of the Jacob’s Ladders in our garden, my thoughts turned towards the wounded and dry places in my own spirit.
Sometimes the winters of life leave us with the debris of hurts, frustrations, and even neglect which requires attention if we want continued spiritual growth.
How can we experience spiritual renewal? By first understanding God promised renewal, and only He can provide the renewal we need. True spiritual renewal comes only from spending time in God’s Presence and the Word of God.
mindfully renewing the dry places
Keeping up with life, provides one of the reasons we end up stuck with spiritual barreness. I often have awareness of a few spiritual dry places, but instead of stopping, I push on ahead keeping all the balls in the air.
Before long, my spiritual garden becomes an unkempt, tangled mess. Try incorporating the following mindfulness exercises as a way of regularly renewing the spiritual dry places.
- Relinquish. Set aside your schedule, demands, responsibilities long enough to bring awareness to those areas feeling dry, wounded and broken.
- Rest. In God’s Presence. Allow the feelings of dryness or emptiness to come to the surface. Consider your real needs around the wounded and broken places. Meditate on God’s steadfast love for you. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
- Reflect. Where exactly is renewal most needed? Where are you most weary?
Intentionally set aside time over the course of a few days, even five or ten minutes at the end of your daily quiet time, or as you close out your evening. Keep your Bible close by, and a journal or scratch pad.
Avoid approaching your spiritual garden as a problem which needs fixing, but rather with a curious, loving gaze. As you sit quietly, breathe slowly and deeply, allowing the Holy Spirit these moments for refreshing and reviving you.
spring’s hope for renewing the dry places
The beauty of spring’s hope for renewing the dry places comes through the nurturing of the Holy Spirit. His gentleness with your wounded, parched places, brings refreshment and healing. Fostering new, spiritual growth from the very places which seemed so barren.
But you must surrender to the caring hand of the Master Gardener; who alone knows your deepest needs for revival. Whose hands mold times and seasons, calling forth life buried deep within the withered, weary places of your heart.
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