He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
This verse came back to me last week as I watered my windowsill herb garden. It’s been an interesting experience trying to keep these herbs alive in the middle of winter, when the sun sometimes decides not to shine.
These herbs are not in a season of yielding fruit. They are barely making it! But they are a perfect example to me of “and its leaf does not wither.”
And so I thought to myself,
“What is God doing in the hidden spaces this winter season?”
Perhaps that question is best answered in spring in summer, in reflecting back upon the waiting and barren season of winter. It’s appropriate to realize the waiting in the midst of abundance. And yet how do I understand my waiting days today?
Instead of answering this question in a black and white sort of way, this question lends itself to wondering.
I wonder how the Lord is pruning me.
I wonder what in me is staying alive that almost died.
I wonder what I’m being prepared for.
I wonder what I will continue to learn in my silence and solitude.
I wonder if my writing voice is being simplified in the environment of my quiet apartment.
I wonder if my imagination is being enlivened as I trade in a life of busyness for a life of simplicity.
I wonder what I’m being reminded of.
I wonder if I’m growing in acceptance and in letting go.
I wonder if I feel more out-of-step with 20-somethings for a specific reason.
I may never have specific answers as to what the Lord was really up to in the winter of 2016,
but I can wonder.
I can remember that my leaf does not wither-even on days when it feels like it.
Lent is like a “detox” season, as my pastor put it on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the harsh winter that we are to embrace.
It’s a time to accept the Lord’s pruning work, knowing that we are sustained.
We can face self-examination because we know how much we are loved.
Dare to wonder this Lenten season, who the Lord is making you to be. Let Him speak loving words into your ear. Let Him lovingly strip away all that isn’t necessary, all that isn’t healing or helpful. He desires to partner with us as we yield fruit in its season.
On Friday, I will post more specifics about my wonderings…
What do you want to spend time wondering about this Lenten season?