By Colonel Genevera Vincent
After first moving to California, I was amazed and somewhat amused at how excited people became when it rained! I remember a thunder and lightning storm early last fall, and when the rain started, people ran to the windows, excited to watch the rainfall, albeit very brief. I must confess, I didn’t find it terribly exciting, as I was accustomed to rain pretty much every week where I came from. We usually ran to the windows when the sun came out!
Having been here for nearly a year now, I totally understand the excitement that comes with rain. The land in Southern California is very dry and the rain is needed and very refreshing. What amazes me now are the beautiful flowers in such a dry climate. Even in the dryness, they flourish and fill their surroundings with beauty and an inviting aroma.
It really is a perfect example of what I desire my life to be. Flourishing in the dry season. We all experience the dry seasons…times in our lives when God seems far away, when life is very routine, when ministry seems to be routine and somewhat uninspiring. During times like this, I must remind myself that the change is in me and not in God. God is always present, always powerful, he knows me better than I know myself. These are the times that call for a deep trust and faith in the one who holds me in the palm of his hand.
The Psalms are a great read as we work through the dry seasons of our lives. They are brutally honest about what is happening, how one is feeling. Those feelings of dryness and despair are often resolved as the Psalmist recounts the past mercies and grace of God. That is not always the case, however. In Psalm 137, we are given a quick glimpse of what it was like for the nation of Israel to be in bondage. There they were, sitting by the rivers of Babylon, weeping about what they had lost, having been taken from their homeland. They hung their harps on the poplar trees…they had lost their song…they were experiencing a dry season. When their captors asked them to sing some of the songs of Zion they refused, responding instead with, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (v. 4) I have often wondered, while reading this Psalm, if the people of God had missed a chance to witness about all the amazing things God had previously done for them because they were somewhat self-absorbed in this moment. Their dry season left them without a song, without a testimony. How very sad!
Then I am caused to think about the dry seasons of my own life. How many opportunities have I missed to witness of the power and provision of God because I interpreted the dry season as distance between God and me?
How many opportunities have I missed to witness of the power and provision of God because I interpreted the dry season as distance between God and me?Colonel Genevera Vincent
In Psalm 77, we encounter another example of a dry season. The Psalmist is feeling abandoned by God and questions if God will reject him forever. “Has God’s promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be kind and compassionate?” There is a remembering of songs sung long ago, but troubles …the dry season…are now keeping the Psalmist without a song. Verse 10 of Psalm 77 is a resolution verse. The verse reads: Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. Suddenly the tone of the Psalm changes and the Psalmist is recalling the goodness and faithfulness of God and the dry season becomes a flourishing season!
That, my friends, is the beauty of our relationship with Jesus. When we are experiencing the dry season, the times when we feel spiritually wilted and running on empty, recalling the past goodness, faithfulness, love, and mercy of God will bring about beauty despite the dry season.
Just as the flowers in Southern California bloom despite the dry season, I pray that my life will flourish and bloom with the beauty of Jesus, whatever the season.