Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brown-Leafed and Plum-Shrivelled

It irritates me just a little when the presenters that sit upon the sofas on breakfast TV programmes talk about the driest May, not quite since records began, but in a while. They show you graphics of little jars almost empty of contents and label them with percentages of rainfall at disappointingly low levels.

They go on to take you on a tour of a plum orchard somewhere in the south west and run fingers over dry brown leaves and stunted shrivelled plums. They remind you that most of our fruit is imported anyway, but with a likely poor harvest this year we can expect prices to go up.

I look out of my window. I would gladly sweep up the puddles outside (into a jar perhaps – a few jars even) and send them down to the farmer and his orchard.

This has not been a dry May where I live. It has been a very wet one. And, certainly for the last couple of days, a very windy one. There are few breaks in the clouds and no sunshine to bask under.

Over the weeks I have crawled back into the winter wardrobe – the sandals swapped for shoes, the bare feet covered in thick tights, the T-shirts exchanged for warm jumpers and the spring jacket replaced with a heavy winter coat!

I am sunshine-starved!

I was reading Jeremiah 17 this morning. Heat and drought isn’t something that the trees around us are suffering from. Everything is green and thriving. The picture that comes to mind, however, is those trees in the farmer’s orchard, brown-leafed and plum-shrivelled. The farmer, unable to rely on natural rainfall, irrigates with a hose and gallons of water. He scans the skies looking for rain clouds.

I wonder, sometimes, if I am more like his fruit tree than I am like the picture Jeremiah paints with his words. I am bothered by many things and worries buzz around my head like flies.

It’s time to trust in the Lord and to make him my hope and confidence.

“I trust in the Lord and have made the Lord my hope and confidence. Like a tree my roots are planted along a riverbank, roots that reach deep into the water. I'm not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. My leaves stay green, and I never stop producing fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 personalised)

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