We are headed to Boston in October to visit our daughter, see the condo she bought (last spring!), and leaf peep. But the other day she sent us an article about the effect of the current drought on the fall colors.
Turns out, the brilliant fall leaf colors depend on water. The projection for this year is that the color will arrive sooner, stay for a shorter time, and be less bright. It’s a bit disappointing, but the truth is that any autumn in New England in more colorful than autumn in Texas!
All this got me thinking about the kinds of droughts we experience in our lives and how they affect us, especially in the autumn of our lives.
A Drought of Jesus
This is the most serious of all droughts. When we let time with Jesus—time in His word, in prayer, in worship, etc—wane, our souls reflects the lack. We can have an earlier, shorter fuse of anger. A less brilliant shining forth of joy, grace, and love. This is true in any season, but a continual drought of Jesus in the busy years of our 30s and 40s will show quite obviously when we enter the autumn of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I want my years with Jesus to shine beautifully through me. To attract the attention of those who need the gospel or need encouragement to keep trusting Jesus. I want my experiences to mean something, to render me some wisdom. I want my fall colors to arrive early and remain long, to provide a breathtaking contrast to the world around me.
A Drought of Friendships
This is another drought that can steal the beauty from our souls. We were meant to live in community—even more than just our immediate and extended family. Because children grow up, marry, leave and cleave. Spouses, parents, siblings, will not always be around. If we walk in a drought of friendships, especially through the busy children years, we will find ourselves floundering when we ought to be flourishing. Close community in our lives accentuates the bright colors of our autumn leaves that walking with Jesus has wrought. Our pastor once said that if you look at a person’s friendships in their 40s you can see the kind of life they will have in their 70s. Waiting for your life to slow down to build relationships is to live in a drought of friendships that will eventually take its toll.
A Drought of Work
I’m not necessarily talking about a job here. A drought of work is a life without anything meaningful to fill hours and days. This might be a job. This might be a ministry calling. This might be a creative outlet. This might be the work of building relationships with others. Whatever it is, God has called us all to work of some kind. And He has commanded us to do our work as unto Him, not to please others—or even ourselves. Our work is both the process and the product of who He has created and called us to be. A drought of work diminishes our sense of purpose. Like those New England trees in drought, we don’t become everything we were meant to be.
The good news is that these kinds of droughts are somewhat under our control. Jesus is always found by those who call on Him. There are friends out there waiting for us to take the first step of connection. And there is work to do everywhere we look—at home, at church, in our neighborhoods.
Are you currently living in some form of soul drought? Is there a step you can take today to start the rain falling again?