A Watered Garden in Time of Drought

We’re having a tiny drought here in Maine – nothing like the raging, fire-breathing variety that has been defoliating the West Coast. Even so, in these end-of-summer days, my garden and I are feeling this word:


As I haul plastic jugs of water that will rescue the geranium, restore the sunflowers, and rejuvenate the nasturtiums, my mind gnaws on the word, and argues it away from my heart.

Maybe it’s because I remember President Ford wearing a sweater on t.v. and telling us to turn down our thermostats to save oil;

Perhaps it was the empty spaces in my growing-up refrigerator that stood in stark contrast with the steady supply of vodka bottles in the trunk of the ’74 Plymouth;

God, help me, it may be my own present-day, reprobate habit of comparing myself to the gifted, the scintillating, and the accomplished that brings on this spirit of scarcity that sucks dry my confidence and leaves my faith parched and brittle.

Lack – the word hangs like a caption over my wilting tomato plants, but I will not give it entry to my soul, for I will fight the lie with this truth:

. . . if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.  (Isaiah 58:10-11)

Hear the Word of the Lord, O my soul!

When the earth is scorched and you are stuck in drought conditions from the continual pouring out; when memories of days with no direction and not a spring in sight crowd out today’s reality of abundant provision and blessing from God — this is the time to war against soul-drought.

The message of that Old Testament prophet to me in my days of dryness is this:

Don’t despair.

Keep pouring yourself into your family.

Be available for God’s next assignment.

Even on this path through the desert, you are not alone. Beside you is a Companion Whose voice you may not hear and Whose footprint you may not see, but Whose presence is a forecast of rain on your soul’s cracked earth.

Everyone’s testimony includes road maps of the desolate places in their itinerary, records of the journey through days when security and abundance seemed to be a thousand miles away as we slogged through debt, or disappointment, or confusion. Looking back now on my desert days, I see in retrospect the truth of these words from God to His people – in a spiritual drought of their own making:

I cared for you in the wilderness, in a land of burning heat, as if you were in pasture. Hosea 13:5-6

I have lived this truth of lush grass and still waters that demonstrate the faithfulness of God in my parched places. Therefore, even with “the land of burning heat” in my rear-view mirror, even with the knowledge that days of drought may come again, I will spread out my roots into the soil of His Word, not in any special “work,” or location, but in the Lord Himself. There lies the water of life, the only reservoir that will slake my deepest thirst.

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21 thoughts on “A Watered Garden in Time of Drought”

  1. Love this! I live on the west coast, so I know all about drought. Weeks of no rain, 100+ temps, and smoke so bad from the wildfires that we had to stay indoors… I remember the first rainy day – it was amazing to say the least! We could finally breath again, and the air smelled beautiful! What an amazing image of God’s provision for us. Thank you for sharing! #RaRaLinkup



  2. Michele, a drought of the soul is the worst kind of drought. I’ve been there…that arid and dry place. Be encouraged, friend, that there is a small cloud on the horizon…a rain cloud sent from God to refresh your soul. Thank you for linking up at The Loft today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “. . . if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
    then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” Love these beautiful, yet challenging words from Isaiah! Thank you for putting them in front of me via Women with Intention! 🙂


  4. Thanks for sharing. Your verse makes me think of sowing and reaping. If we give to the poor we reap our needs being met. I want to be that well watered garden , that spring!


  5. “…it may be my own present-day, reprobate habit of comparing myself to the gifted, the scintillating, and the accomplished that brings on this spirit of scarcity…” I ‘get’ this! I read this verse today and thought of you: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”!!! II Cor.9:8 The truth before me today is that there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit empowers them and they are apportioned to each us us individually according to God’s will (I Cor.12) for His glory and for the building up of His Body. It is not a competition. When I bemoan my own ‘lack’ I fault God who has equipped me for just the task He has for me. This is the lesson on my plate. It keeps coming ’round to my attention.
    BTW I love your words here, and your nasturtiums! They are one of my summertime favorites!!


    1. Thanks so much for all this beautiful scriptural truth. I need to have it stamped on my eyes continually! And yes, nasturtiums are such lovely summer gifts. I love their smell, their bright warm colors, and even the seeds that form are fragrant!


  6. We live in the Pacific Northwest and it has been a hot dry summer but the refreshing rains have blessed us the last few days. If we just hold on to Christ the rains will come. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Michele! I appreciate you sharing these words with us over at Grace and Truth last week. I’ve been through times of soul drought before myself – not a fun place to be. I appreciate your subject, but I also appreciate your word-crafting talent. Lovely writing! 🙂
    Jen @ Being Confident of This


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