Monday, June 27, 2011

A Little Encouragement, Anyone??

So, for those of you that aren't from around these parts. .we are in a VERY serious drought in southwest Kansas.  And, nearly worse than not having any moisture, is the fact that the temperatures have been in the triple digits ALMOST every day this month. .and a few in May. Today was 114 degrees. .with a drying, parching wind.  Much, MUCH hotter than normal!! Generally, at this time of the season, the view from my home is beautiful. Rolling hills of green and some wildflowers, with beautiful blooms in the gardens as well.
You'll see that the pastures are a crunchy shade of brown, with only a hint of green grass that is REALLY short, visible only if you are close to it. 
And my yard. .which has been watered, is nearly dead from the high heat and insufficient moisture to combat the temperatures and wind. 
Even this patch of weeds in the yard (Have I ever mentioned the horrible time I have growing grass??) is so stinking hot and dry that it is demising as well.
I'm a gardener.
 I love to work in the soil and make beautiful things grow and healthy food to feed my family. It gives me satisfaction and pleasure.
The constant, no-win battle has about gotten the best of me.
B-U-T. .
while sitting at the ball field the other night waiting on Dev's team to finish their 1 1/2 hour practice, I worked on the bible study that we are finishing up in Sunday School. .The study is from the Women of Faith series entitled Encouraging One Another.
And that Great Big God. .who knows my heart and my frustrations. .got my attention! 
There are a few things blooming despite the high heat and parching winds. These coneflowers were the ones I started last winter in 2010. Thankfully I transplanted some of these Marconi shastas. .because my mother plants didn't survive the winter!
The first sentence I read that night was a passage from Isaiah 35:3 "Strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees."
Now, since I have been SOO busy with all the activities that came with the month of June. .I thought to myself. .I have tired hands right now. .I wonder what else is in this passage that I should read. And, with God's gentle nudge to explore the passage further, I opened up my bible and got the biggest encouragement I've had for a long time.,  
And in the event that anyone else reading this needs a lift. .I want to share it! The chapter title of the passage that is now highlighted in my bible is called "Hope for Restoration."  Chapter 34 of Isaiah speaks about the destruction of the wicked nations. .and some scholars believe it to be prophesy regarding the great tribulation, or the "end times" for our world as we know it now. 
My daylilies are smaller this year, but this one has started blooming and I think of all of them, it is my favorite!
Chapter 35 then explains how the Lord will restore the land after judgement.
I was so encouraged by the verses surrounding the theme verse of our lesson, that I read them 3 times!
Marigolds that flank the new sidewalk. They don't mind the heat so much, and the spot of bright color is welcome here.
"Even the wilderness will rejoice in those days. The DESERT will blossom with flowers. Yes, there will be an abundance of FLOWERS and singing and JOY! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel's pastures, and the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his GLORY, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those who are afraid, "Be STRONG, and do NOT fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save YOU. Isaiah 35:1-4 
And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert. The PARCHED ground will become a pool, and the springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will NEVER travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God's ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, and there will be no other dangers. ONLY the redeemed will follow it. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness. Isaiah 35:5-10
The mexican hats are in full bloom. They are just a gorgeous shade of coppery red! Love 'em
    I won't lie. .I still feel frustration for the devastation occurring in the little plot of ground I am stewarding. .and the fear for those whose livelihoods are at stake because of the significant drought. .but it was just a VERY timely reminder to me that no matter how much time, money, effort, sweat, and tears I pour into our gardens trying to build an oasis for my family, friends, and God's creatures. .it will NEVER compare to the oasis that God will prepare for His children!! My mother in law thinks that the last few weeks have been a little insightful as to what Hell will really feel like. .I think it will be a LOT hotter!
But because of His mercy and graceful gift of eternal life the day I asked Him for it. .
I won't ever have to find out!! I can't WAIT to stroll through HIS gardens singing with joy from the bottoms of my barefooted feet!!

I hope this passage encourages someone out there today that needed a little lift!

Check back soon. .we took a spontaneous trip to the land of the green grass this weekend. .
And I can't wait to share it!


  1. Loved this post this morning! Just what I needed, in more ways than one.
    It WILL rain again, right? We had water running for 13 hours straight yesterday.

  2. Rejuvenation; replenishment; re-invigoration...the 3 r's that are promised! Thank you for sharing your Bible study passages!The best words for the heart, & soul!

  3. Enjoyed both the blooms and the scripture! I love that visual of the "desert blooming." :)

    We must've been thinking along similar lines, I just posted about our "scorched yard," but have a few things still going. Take care, and do your best to stay cool! Pray for cool and rain.

  4. Right there with you although you've had the most triple digits I've seen in a long time.

  5. How very inspirational, thank you for sharing that. My devotions have me in Isaiah 11 & John 12. What an awesome God we share. Keep up the beautiful thoughts and pictures. DJ

  6. I so feel for you and everyone down in that part of the state. Droughts are so hard to watch and endure. A true test. We have friends near Coldwater and they've been keeping us up to date with the weather there. So hoping and praying that you receive much needed rain and cooler temps soon. Hang in there.