"Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." Genesis 2:7 ESV
The weather in NorCal is already blessing us with ideal temperatures. The snowboarders are hitting the slopes and motorcycles are cruising the valley. On Sunday, grabbing my gear, I set out to discover some water falls. I felt a need to fill my heart with something other than super bowls and preaching. The soil of my heart needed to encounter the waters of God's Spirit. Along the way, I ran into a sweet friend of mine while grabbing a coffee for the road.
Chatting with her about the past few months, we both expressed elements of God's seeming inexpression. Over December and January, I've experienced a major reset in my heart's thinking. Whatever our individual reasons, we have been in long moments of sitting with God in relative inactivity...by that I mean months of God doing nothing loud. Our hearts expressed in various ways their need to be touched. We watched as God touched others, but, relatively speaking, felt left untouched.
During my courses in Geology at Virginia's Community College, I learned about water's interaction with soil over long periods of time. The earth is like a sponge. Some of California's valleys are Twenty-plus-feet lower in elevation than a century ago. Because California overused her freshwater resources, sucking it from the earth, the soil became like a dried sponge. Losing her water, the soil lost her volume, like when you smash a slice of bread, essentially becoming a brick layer. The valley's ability to produce is inhibited further as time passes.
This brick layer doesn't rise twenty-feet every year, because, as a sponge, it would have to sit beneath water for long periods of uninterrupted silence to expand again. When the soil particles are knit this tightly, flash flooding can occur. The rainfall cannot be absorbed quickly enough . However, through snow and soaking rain, the mountains and valleys are covered in colors from heaven. Soil is replenished to its former state through long periods of absorption.
"...but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 ESV
It is spiritually-natural to wait on the Lord. My friend expressed a sense of numbness. A sense I might call neutrality. We often witness sweet, authentic, revivals in front of our eyes. Yet, we also experience long periods of nothing manifesting in our own lives. I propose these periods are actually the soaking rains of God on his people. When it comes to spiritual things, we are the, "...dust from the ground ..." in need of soaking up God's Spirit, replenishing the soil of our hearts.
The spring brings forth green grass after sitting months beneath the snow and rains of winter. In this way, we must wait on God. When our hearts are feeling hard towards the world around us, we must sit instead of stand. Be silent instead of preach. Whisper instead of shout. We may see people encountering God, but forget that the daily grind of simplicity is our encounter. Over time with God, we are brought to life. The power of God isn't always seen in the storm, but in the power of sitting beneath the snows of winter. Winter is a waiting.
God is not absent. He is present in the nuance. He is present in our rest. Although it appears differently than the expressions of faith-moved mountains, the natural occurrance of spring is a result of God's soaking presence in Winter. You may not see change, but your heart is being expanded, softened to the touch of what He has planted in you. Maybe you're worried about how fruitful you haven't been, but He is making you ready to produce again.