For weeks, its been dry around here.
The sunflowers all withered up to a brown crisp and the crepe myrtle holding her blossoms tight, like un-opened gifts. It’s just too dry to be giving blessings.
The lack of water carries a cost and all of us groan it, waiting for waters to nourish and restore.
6:02 am and I lay in bed unable to move. Several consecutive nights up with sick children have left me spent… A husband miles away tending to his own father…And when was the last time I sat down with my bible for a really good drink?
I’m oh, so thirsty. I don’t know how I’m going to make the demands of another day. Really.
Just like our bodies are scripted to respond to thirst… Parched mouths and weak bodies send signals to our brains that say, “Your survival is at stake! Find water immediately!”… so we have emotional scripts that trigger those distress signals.
We are programmed with alerts that sound when we are in danger of getting in over our heads. It’s the part memory plays, because even for memories we can’t consciously “remember,” our limbic system knows when danger lurks. It never forgets the past, adoption has taught me that.
My signal is screaming now, telling me I’ve got to find relief and fast.
Red alert. Danger. You’re going to be overwhelmed and you know you can’t handle this. You are on empty and in peril.
Like many, my script was written in childhood. That’s when I experienced a drought so dark and severe that it seared a message deep in my memory, the message that says to avoid similar situations at all costs. When the demands begin and the resources are few, the script is replayed and I respond. I bark at the children. I’m short with my husband. I don’t give my best. I fight or I withdraw. I operate like my reserves are low and back up isn’t coming. I’m in survival mode.
I lay there in bed, listening to my scripts. The clock steadily ticks, moving away from 6:02 and bringing the day on, ready or not. “You can’t do this,” the messages relay. “You are too tired.” “You need rest, a good quiet time, help with the kids, community with others…”
And with each message, I’m pummeled against the pillows, dead weight body.
“Help me, Jesus.” I don’t speak the words, hardly even believe them, but they reside deep within and He does too and He responds.
I laugh. I laugh because yesterday He and I talked at length about the widow in I Kings 17, the one whose oil jar never ran dry and whose flour bag never went empty. And I knew then He wanted me to hold onto that, that my provisions will never run out.
Except this time, today, it isn’t flour He’s giving, but seed. He wants me to toil, to work, to plant, to invest in these little ones knocking at my bedroom door. He wants me to sow seed.
And I’ve been up all night!
At first, I don’t want to listen to it. It means that I’ve got to give up my hopes, my desires for rest and reprieve. It means I’ve got to accept no provision but His grace and believe that His grace is sufficient.
But really, there is no choice but grace. This isn’t a fairy tale world I’m living in…but is grace really better?
“You will multiply my seed for sowing,” I pray back and know in this moment is where a lifestyle is formed. Here is where a woman is made and here is where a single choice makes all the difference of a lifetime.
I swing my legs over the side of the bed and I latch on like a dry, hungry infant who’s belly needs filling and doesn’t a baby learn that milk fills, satisfies, nourishes? And can’t I take in the word like milk, find it sufficient to fill all my dry places?
The clock reads 6:42. I don’t feel ready for this. But faith isn’t a feeling. It’s an action. So I stand on hardwood floor and I rewrite the script of my life, from “I can’t” to “He will.”
“He will multiply my seed…He will multiply…He will.”
Like dryness, living well watered can become a lifestyle. It happens one drink at a time, one baby step after another, one choice at a time, rejecting the old script and replacing it with the new.
In the kitchen, I notice it rained outside during the night. The skies are still gray with moisture. Finally.
And the crepe myrtle has opened her gifts overnight. I steal a peek and see white blossoms against dark sky.
Related Scripture: Psalm 78:20-22 Remember, God speads a table in the wilderness!