Heal This Land

“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring;”  Isaiah 44:3 (NKJV)

As late July rolled around, summer came into full swing. As the summer sun often does here in Texas, it reminded me of how parched the land I care for can become.

With no discernible rain in almost two months, my normally lush green pastures turn faint hues of yellow and brown as parched summer grasses thirst for a cooling drink. Dust clouds blow up from our country roads or neighbors cultivating their fields, preparing them for cotton or wheat planting. Cattle seek whatever scant areas of shade they can find, opting to lay and rest rather than forage during the heat of the day. Although, a few of my cows wade in the pond (up to their necks), then go to the barn and stand in front of the 48-inch fan. I’ve got some smart and resourceful cows.

What moves me most about summer is looking down as I drive across what was once a lush, thick pasture of clover and grass. My pastures reduced to bare ground with large cracks running across it. The geological folks tell me this is because the land is dry. As the clay beneath the topsoil runs out of its stored moisture, it contracts. The more the soil dries out, the more the ground cracks. I’ve seen some cracks grow to more than two inches wide and three feet deep. All I know is the ground is dying of thirst and it makes a great place for snakes to hide.

One particular morning, I looked at the cracked, dry ground and thought of how our souls can become parched and cracks in our faith appear when that happens. I thought about this not only individually, but as a “Family of Faith” and a nation. I see myself, like my land, become thirsty for God’s living water (John 7:38).

This happens when I become try to balance my Christian walk with the busyness of everyday life. My “cracks” appear when I realize my everyday life is not aligning with my Christian walk. My journey in faith provides me with the nourishment I need for everyday life. It’s when I spend too much time in the world and not enough time in the Word that I become spiritually dry.

In those moments, I recall Psalm 62:8 (NKJV); “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” When I visit with God for a while, He pours out His living water and restores the balance I need in my life. God is our refuge, and in Him, we find all we need to sustain our lives. Needing His life-giving refreshment yesterday, I found it while mowing the grass. Hot, sweaty, and covered in grime, the Holy Spirit sought me out as I was praying for His comfort.

There, among the pine trees near the barnyard, a cool breeze mixed with the fresh scent of pine filled my soul. I knew my calls for His presence were being answered and I stopped the mower; opting to spend several minutes with Abba. Our connection restored, my thirst relieved, He immersed me in His peace, grace, and love as the trials of my day vanished.

How often do you drink from the well of God's living water? Click To Tweet

I am reminded we can live without food for several weeks, but humans can only survive without water for three to four days. I wonder how many professing Christians today only hope to get a drink of living water on Sunday mornings. How can they hope to survive another seven days without seeking the refreshment of time with God?

When the rains come; and they always do, the land is healed. The cracks disappear and the nitrogen in the rain water restores life to the grasses. I find my spiritual thirst is best vanquished when I seek communion with God throughout my day. In the same way I drink water throughout the day; I must partake of God’s living water with the same frequency to stave off spiritual thirst. I pray each of you make time each day to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing.

God’s blessings,

46 thoughts on “Heal This Land

  1. Another vivid illustration, JD! Cracks are empty spaces. During my day, I become so aware of my cracks and the need to be filled with His living water-to refresh my outlook on a bad day, replenish my thinking to His perspective, and simply seek His presence. Sunday morning doesn’t do it, as you said. Filling comes in regular moments throughout our day–sometimes in reading blogs like yours. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Ms. Marilyn. Your kind and encouraging comments never fail to bring a needed blessing ma’am. God’s blessings to you and your family in return. Sure hope we get to fellowship again at Enrich this year. I always learn from your perspectives on life ma’am.

  2. I love the beautiful descriptions of your ranch and how you turn those emotional images into powerful spiritual illustrations. Sometimes the busy schedule of ministry causes me to crack like your parched land. Thank you for this reminder to stop at the well.

    PS. I grew up on my great-grandmother’s dairy farm. Our cows were not as smart as yours. 🙂

    1. What a great life that must have been on the dairy farm Pastor Joshua. Dairy cows are a pampered group, and most spend the majority of life one concrete or rubber pads with lots of ventilation. Unfortunately, at least today it seems with big dairies, they have very little time to just be cows. Thank you for the great comments sir. I think we all suffer from “spiritual dryness” now and again. The key is recognizing it. 🙂 God’s blessings sir.

        1. 😀 Big smiles here sir. In my mind’s eye, I see a little fella pushing up his eyeglasses and holding a Bible almost as big as he is. He’s standing at the wire, preaching a message to the dairy cows. As they gather near to see what this young man is doing (they’re a nosey bunch you know), his Nana rocks on her front porch snapping fresh green beans and smiles at her little man. Thank you for this blessing my friend.

  3. J. D. it is easy to think everyone is experiencing what you do. I live in an area that regularly receives flood warnings. But I appreciate the image you described and applied to our spiritual lives. I was reminded of Psalm 23. He leads me to green pastures. Will I follow Him there?

    1. Amen Ms. Debbie. All too often, I want to head down my own path. One of the ways I realize I’m “straying” from God’s path for my life is when I become thirsty. 🙂 What a great example ma’am. Thank You!

    1. Thank you so very much Ms PJ. I pray God will help me to one day live where I am constantly filled, without thirst. I can’t imagine though never thirsting to share in His nearness. To be in the presence of His majesty is a blessing indeed ma’am.

    1. OMGoodness Ms. Patty. A “painter of words” huh? My what a blessing that mental picture is. Our friend Audrey Frank coined the term “Writers of Light”, which I “borrowed” and shortened to our being “Light Writers.” Now, if only I had curly hair (well, any hair) and a cool beard like the late Mr. Thomas Kinkade I might be onto something. 🙂 Thank you for your kindness ma’am. Give a smile to Baby J for Diane and me.

  4. A perfect illustration, J.D. I could see it in my mind’s eye.
    When you mentioned the large cracks are a place for snakes to hide, I couldn’t help but think of how the enemy takes advantage of the “cracks” in our faith.

    1. Thanks so much Ms. Beckie. Am so glad you picked up on my reference to snakes in cracks. I’m not afraid of snakes, but I respect the heck out of them. And when you’re walking along in a pasture with your cows (or Bubba), and one of them rascals slithers out of a crack in the ground or a hole, you say things we shouldn’t and quicken our pace. LOL God’s blessings ma’am. I’ll have to tell you about the twelve foot anaconda across my legs one day ma’am. 🙂

  5. Great analogy and filled with truth! God has placed a thirst in us that only He can satisfy. I like how David expresses this in Ps 143:6 – “I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.”

    1. That is a great verse to drive home this message Ms. Candyce. Thank you so much for contributing to our conversation ma’am. We’re always better when we learn and do together aren’t we ma’am.

  6. That part about the cracks in the soil being good hiding places for snakes hit me. At first, I cringed thinking of rattlers, but then I remembered a believer’s greatest enemy, the serpent from the Garden of Eden. Oh, how easily the devil finds ways to tempt and attack us when we are in those dry thirsty seasons.
    Thanks for the admonition for drinking the water of life every day.
    Last Sunday, our pastor gave an illustration of the grace of God pouring down in a giant waterfall. We don’t have to do anything, but to step in it, lean back, and open our mouths! He actually performed it, arms wide, head back, mouth open… and the illustration stays with me yet 3 days later!

    1. Oh I love how both you and Ms. Beckie Lindsay picked on the “snakes in cracks” comment. Am sure others saw it too. Sometimes I “outsmart” myself, but am glad others could see that relationship Ms. Jackie. Your pastor was so right ma’am. The fountain is always flowing, we just have to drink Him in. God’s blessings ma’am.

  7. Wow, J.D. – I love the analogy of the dry parched land (with cracks) to our soul when we ignore our refreshment from the Living Water! Beautiful visuals and makes me want to drink in His glory so that I don’t feel or act parched! Thanks for these words!

    1. Awww… Thank you Ms. Julie. I didn’t know that much kindness came in such a tiny package ma’am. Have that dorsal photo you requested by the way. 🙂 God’s blessings my friend.

  8. Your descriptions are amazing! I find that when I don’t put God first, my life is a mess. When I go to God first and ask for His help, I feel a comfort only He can provide. Those times when I am parched and need help, I realize I haven’t chatted with Him. Having God in our lives at every moment is vital. We can show His love to others when we have put Him first.

    1. Amen! It always amazes me how so many of us think alike here Ms. Melissa. That puts me in a pretty great group. 🙂 Thank you for your insights, comments, and all your prayers. What a blessing you are ma’am. Hope you’re enjoying your new home.

  9. Thanks J.D. I love the analogies from the farm, and yes cows can be resourceful. I appreciate the comparison with the need for spiritual refreshment. I certainly can’t survive without living water daily.

    1. Thank you Ms. Sylvia. I’m so glad my posts and articles hit home with you ma’am. You are so right ma’am; the longer we serve our God, the more we come to realize how dependent we are on His mercy, grace, and love. Thank you for your kind comments ma’am.

    1. Thank you so much Ms Robin. Am so glad you enjoyed ma’am. My cows make me laugh also. Just last evening, my new bull “Mavric” (he’s a registered bull so I can’t change his official name, but I call him something else), came up to the fence to get his poll rubbed. Then he decided he wanted one of Magic the Donkey’s treats. I laughed as I’ve never seen a cow eat horse treats out of my hand like that. Visited your studio on-line, wanted to share a prior post with you I bet you’ll appreciate. https://jdwininger.com/2019/03/27/colors-of-love/ God’s blessings ma’am.

  10. What an inspiring message my friend! We all have those “cracks”. They deepen and widen the further we are separated from God, but just as in His loving mercy he heals the land with rain, He heals us with Holy Water which only He can provide. Praying He will heal our land and His people.

    1. How kind Ms. Katherine. Thank you ma’am. I join you in prayer for our land and our people. “Father God we stand on faith in You that Your will be done for this nation. Return to You, or fail as so many others have done throughout history. I stand with You Lord. -Amen”

  11. Beautiful and vivid imagery. A much needed powerful reminder.

    Thank you, JD, for playing a part in bringing the rain on my thirsty soul today.

    That’s quite the message in this quote of yours: “All I know is the ground is dying of thirst and it makes a great place for snakes to hide.”

    May God bless you and your writing a hundredfold as you encourage others.

    1. OMGoodness how you comment blesses me this afternoon Ms. Rachael. A couple of new cracks started forming in my life today. You kind words brought me right back to focus where I needed to be. THANK YOU! Am so glad you appreciated my message today ma’am. God’s blessings; and Thank You for sharing this with your friends on Twitter.

  12. Such truth with a perfect image of life without Living Water. I pray God’s children will be as resourceful as some of your smart cows. Joining with you in prayer for ourselves, our land, our people, and the world. May God’s Word refresh!

  13. Excellent post. You always have the best verbal visuals. Having experienced the days of drought, I have decided to be smart like your cows and stand immersed up to my neck in God’s pond of grace and goodness. Then to head to the barn and stand in front of the fan of the Holy Spirit.

    1. You are too kind Ms. Gerry. Thank you so much for all your encouragement ma’am. Am glad you enjoy my writing. I love the way you describe it. Fill up on God’s grace and goodness; and then let the Spirit Wind blow all around you! How that must refresh one’s spirit. 😀 Love it ma’am!

    1. Am so glad you enjoyed the post Ms. LuAnn. I especially enjoyed yours this morning about the Black Hills, Wyoming, and the surrounding areas. https://www.luannkedwards.com/new-blog/2019/9/7/its-all-good-part-two What an amazing God we serve. I love how He leaves beautiful “Love Notes” for us all around nature. God’s blessing to you and Mr. Kenn my friend. To my other writing friends and followers, if you’ve never visited Ms. LuAnn’s web site, it is certainly worth the time to do so. Such a blessing.

  14. Wait a sec. Let me go get a drink of water! I’m back. Nothing like being quenched with a cool, tall drink of H2O. Great post, J.D. As a believer, we can find ourselves in those dry, desert-like places waiting for the refreshment of water but the truth is, it is right at our fingertips anytime we want it. Your smart cows figured that out!

    1. I’m with you Ms. Karen. We should all perhaps drink from God’s well a bit more each day ma’am. Thank you so much for joining in the conversation. You are always so encouraging and kind ma’am. As for my cows? I sometimes think they’re smarter than me. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

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