Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet - D


Blogging Through the Alphabet

D is for Dormant

Spring is finally arriving and the trees and plants which very recently looked nearly dead, are suddenly gaining color, growing buds, and standing up a little straighter than they were just a few short weeks ago.

Appearances can be deceiving, and though they looked dead, they were still very much alive, albeit in a state of dormancy.

What is dormancy?  To be dormant means "to be in a state of rest or inactivity". Bears can be dormant, fish can be dormant, plants can be dormant.....and our lives can sometimes be dormant too!

Recently, I was talking with someone who was feeling a little discouraged over a dormant state in their spiritual life and walk with God. While they were still reading their Bible, seeking God, and living their life in a way to please Him, they felt that they had not been experiencing the closeness with God that they remembered from another point in their Christian walk.

While it is true that sometimes those kinds of feelings can come from things we bring on ourselves, such as secret sins or neglecting our quiet time with God, over the years, I have seen and experienced that there are many 'seasons' to our walk with God. At times, we may experience rapid and exciting growth - everything seems new and fresh and our spirits are filled with joy. Other times, it may seem like God is far away, like we haven't heard from Him in awhile, or we are just 'plugging away' at life, and we sense a lapse of that joy and vigor.

I believe one reason God has allowed us to live in such close proximity to nature is so that we may study and learn from it. If living organisms in nature go through times of rapid growth, and also times of dormancy, might there be something in that cycle that we can learn from and apply to our lives as well?

Looking through the Word of God and the human examples that God has given us there, we see great men and women of God who experienced great victories, then went on to also live through times of great emotional turmoil and struggle. I always think of Elijah defeating the prophets of Baal in such a great victory, then not long after, sitting by a brook bemoaning his fate.  Or of Jonah seeing a whole city repent, only to then hide under a gourd and sulk. Abraham, David, Saul, Moses.....the list goes on and on. Those struggles are recorded in the Bible for a reason. We need to take notice.

If we focus on the struggles, the hard times, the 'dormant' seasons in our life, it could very well lead to another 'D' word - discouragement.

Over the winter, and often when it is cold, a tree or plant will slow or stop it's growth, and conserve it's energy. Often this dormant season is brought on by the environment or outside circumstances.  We know that a tree or plant will begin to grow again when the circumstances allow. That time of growth may follow a thorough pruning at the hand of a gardener. Or it may be when temperatures warm and the sun shines longer in the day. Those things will trigger that plant, and cause it to go through a rapid growing process - buds, leaves, and fruit.

In our Christian walk, it may be that God will allow us those quiet times. Perhaps He is proving us, that we will stay faithful even when our walk is not 'thrilling' every moment of the day. Perhaps He is allowing us to be stronger, and to cause us to 'gear up' for what's coming just around the next bend in our life.

We all love the summer - the time of growth where everyone can see the results, and enjoy the fruits, but it is in the winter that the true strength is revealed. Anyone who has ever watched a tree get beaten up in a blizzard and come back stronger the next season can attest to that.

When your spirit is in the dormant season, have faith and know that God has not forsaken you, even though you may not see the dynamic growth in your life as you did in times past. Trust God that what is going on is for your good and His glory. Stay faithful doing what you know is right, even if it doesn't feel like you are getting results. Feeding your spirit with your daily devotions is important. Always strive towards the next growing season, knowing that summer is coming, and you will be all ready for God to do a mighty work in your life. Always be looking for what God has in store for you.

Realize also, that some of the most effective pruning is done in the dormant stage. Though we may not realize it, God is always at work in our life. The gardener will tend to his plants, and cut back the branches that need to be trimmed, so that the plant will grow and bear fruit more effectively, as well as be a beautiful plant to look upon. This pruning often takes place in the months leading up to the spring and the season of new growth. I find it fascinating that some of the best and most rapid growth takes place after a good pruning! God, as the Master Gardener in our life, will take the time to cut back some things that we don't need, or that hinder us from being all that He wants us to be. He may remove some 'dead branches' that will hinder people from seeing the beauty of Him in our life.

John 15:1-8  "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. {without me: or, severed from me}
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

Don't be worried or troubled if you are going through a 'dormant' stage, rather rejoice that when your next 'growing' stage begins, you will be ready for it! Abide in Christ to remain faithful and strong during all the seasons in your life.

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1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!