Flourishing Again

O God, my God! How I search for you! How I thirst for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. How i long to find you! How I wish I could go into your sanctuary to see your strength and glory, for your love and kindness are better to me than life itself. How I praise you! I will bless you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. At last I shall be fully satisfied; I will praise you with great joy. Psalm 63: 1-5 (TLB)

"Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. he will neither fail you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 (TLB)

Daniel Ladue lives in New York. Every winter, he spends four months living in Mexico City and working at two refugee centers. In May, before returning home, Daniel spends a week on Mexico's southwest beach coast.

May is the end of a nearly six-month dry season, and almost all of the trees are stripped of their leaves. The landscape is gray, and the soil is hard and dry. If they could, the trees might ask, "Where are you God?" However, one tree, the Cuachalalate , starts producing small white flowers. In the harsh dryness that dominates the area in May, this tree begins to thrive.

Every year Daniel marvels at this new life and is reminded that we all experience seasons of spiritual dryness. He knows that shortly after he leaves Mexico, the rains will begin and the parched countryside will flourish once again. He also knows that if he waits patiently and listens for God's still small voice, God's love will always lead him home.

Even it it feels like we are alone, God never leaves us, just as God never leaves that arid Mexican countryside. As Deuteronomy 31:6 promises, "{The LORD} will never leave you nor forsake you."

Prayer: Gracious God, may we never forget that you are always present. Thank you for your love that guides us, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Cuachalalate tree

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