NO RAIN, NO FLOWERS-- I just recently heard this phrase for the first time and it honestly blew me away. Based on my personal testimony, I found it so profound— short but to the point and SO true! No pain, no gain, right?
With the first day of spring being just a few weeks ago, I got to thinking about the significance of the change in seasons for a moment. During the winter, the ground and fields experience drought from the lack of water—the grass, the soil and the land look parched, cracked and thirsty. Nothing can really grow in these conditions, and this isn’t the soil you would pick to plant a garden or a tree in. Much in the same way are our hearts when we don’t “water” them with time in the Word, time with our Lord, or following His ways. We need water for life and for growth so that we can produce fruit, flowers and beauty. Sometimes growth, or seasons of drought can be painful, but they can absolutely create something lovely. Take pruning for instance—we have Crate Myrtles in our backyard, and every season, we must prune them so they will bear even more flowers next season!
John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Then the rain comes about. Sometimes it’s a drizzle, other times it comes in as a thunderous and raging storm—with true floods and limited visibility. When we find ourselves caught in the middle of these downpours, we’re drenched and uncomfortable. But after the rain comes a beautiful yield—a well-watered harvest, a well-nourished heart. Roots are quenched and cultivated, and flowers and fruits have their foundation to grow! I want my heart to mirror this. Lord, refine me! Strip away and prune me as you have done to the fields, and make my roots go deep so they won’t waiver in tough seasons. Fill my heart with thankfulness for these seasons that I encounter before I can experience the harvest.
Spring in Texas means fields of wildflowers and lush, nourished grass. Everything is in bloom and we are in awe every time we look out the window. There is warmth from the sun, cloudless days and the brightest of colors! When we are walking in wholeness with the Lord, scripture says you will know because of the fruit that is born in your life, and your heart will reflect the beauty of a well-watered life. We are promised the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!
Psalm 1:3 A person whose hope and trust is in the Lord “is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wilt or fade—whatever they do prospers.”
I don’t know about you, but abiding by my plans usually leads to things that are not quite as beautiful as God’s promise from above. In nature and in our hearts, He takes what was lifeless and parched and transforms it into something new and spectacular. In our winters and storms, God is working! What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace, and what looks like the end might actually be the beginning. Be encouraged and take heart! He takes our tough seasons, all being allowed and filtered through His loving and sovereign hand, and turns them into tools of redemption and remaking. Leaves wither and fade in order to bring about new life in the next season. In God’s ecological economy, it’s the same in our lives and our hearts.
John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
God works through the pain, loss and storms to remake us, to redeem us, and to make us whole and lacking nothing. These storms and droughts are merely a season—temporary. They’re only a chapter, not the whole book! He prunes us because He loves us. It may be hard, but it’s so we can bear even more fruit than before.
1 Peter 1:4-8 We have been given “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire.”
Here are a few great promises in Scripture that have been a great hope to my husband and I in tough seasons:
Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sew in tears, will reap a harvest of JOY! For though they may weep while going forth to plant their seed, if they persevere, they will undoubtedly return rejoicing—bringing their sheaves with them.”
Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning!”
We should invite the rain and not flee or hide from it. I avoided pain and tears my entire life, and suffered an immense amount of hurt, heartache and loss because of it. Press in. Do not numb or deny those hurting places—the lessons we learn in difficult times often turn out to be our most treasured. There will be beauty from the ashes no matter the situation, relationship or circumstance when you choose to walk with the Lord and reap the fullness of the promises He makes to us in His Word. Let God use your brokenness to be made into abundance. What’s undoing you, can be the things that remakes you! I’ve seen it and experienced it first hand! His grace is waiting for you when you humbly come to Him asking for help, refuge and water (Living Water!). Water that will never run dry! Aren't you thirsty, as I was, for something more than what you can offer yourself?
John 4:14 "But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Isaiah 43:19 “Look, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Joel 2:23-27 “Rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given the early rain for your vindication; He has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. He will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.”
Thankfully, our God is not “seasonal” and is there to give you everything you every need! Reach out for His lavish and astounding grace!
Happy Spring!! There is so much to celebrate and give thanks for!