Driving up the same route we trek every year for our summer camping trip in the Sierras was like any other time–a good 6-hour drive partly through the dreaded LA freeways and the remainder through Kern County and Northern California–I’m not sure which is better, LA gridlock or long stretches of parched land, dairies and grapevines, hmmm?
It wasn’t until we arrived at the bottom of the Sierras that the first spark of excitement I had as I hopped into the truck that morning–only to have it stripped away by LA traffic, endless fields of dry land and hot Fresno heat–was reignited.
As we ascended up the alpines, all I could envision was feeling the cool draft of mountain air across my face, gazing upward as the sky scraping evergreens tower over me and long days of absolutely nothing other than admiring God’s beauty.
Needless to say, I was shocked and dismayed as we started embarking up the mountain only to discover rows and rows of rust colored forest?
These once robust evergreens were now clusters of weak, pitiful and ‘ever-brown‘ forests.
What could cause these once strong and mighty trees to become so desiccated?
Well, it turns out this massacre was caused by a teeny little bug, no bigger than a grain of rice, known as the pine beetle.
According to Wikipedia, this tiny but very dangerous bug burrows into the tree and lays it’s eggs. It eventually blocks and prevents nutrients and water from flowing throughout the tree–resulting in the rust-colored foliage and ultimately, the tree’s demise.
Even still, how could such a teensy bug cause so much destruction?
Well, the devastation began long before the beetle infiltration took over; it began when the forest endured a serious season of drought, it left them dry, frail and stressed creating the perfect opportunity for the pests to move in and go into full attack–these timbers didn’t stand a chance.
And then it clicked–we too are under attack by our very own dangerous beetle–his name is Satan.
When we’re not drinking daily from the living water we are susceptible to debilitating seasons of drought–our soul becomes parched, weak, and weary and Satan uses these seasons of drought to create seasons of doubt.
He burrows his way into our soul and lays his eggs of uncertainty, doubt, worry and fear.
John 10:10 says, “The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy.” He begins with killing our strength, stealing our joy and destroying our faith. We become weak in our spiritual walk, our faith starts to diminish and what was once a beautiful soul has now turned to rust.
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalms 63:1 NLT)
We weren’t intended to be sad saplings but instead, mighty trees in God’s glorious garden.
Therefore, we must quench our soul daily with God’s word, strengthen our bones with his promises, and guard our hearts with his truth.
Stop & Reflect: Do you find yourself suffering from a drought? Have you allowed Satan to burrow into your soul and lay eggs of doubt or despair or maybe anger? If you’re finding that your beautiful foliage is fading, return to the only living water that can nourish and replenish your soul.
If you need additional encouragement, read my post titled Beautifully Rooted – 6 Steps in Becoming Mature and Fruitful in the Lord.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post; did it speak to you? Feel free to share your heart in the comments below.
Thank you for visiting and God bless.