Leaves need water and food, but people need God's word

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By Jon Rohr

It’s that time of year again when the leaves are changing. As the weather grows colder the leaves put on their fall colors. We get to enjoy crisp cool days and beautiful orange, red, and gold hillsides.
This year the colors are not quite as brilliant; many trees are shedding their leaves with hardly a bright color to show. The drought this summer has left its mark in the fall foliage. Without the rain the trees could not pull needed nutrients out of the ground. They are not as healthy, so they are not showing off as much this year.
In the same way trees need nourishment and rain to stay healthy, people need those things as well. But we need more than just water and food, we need to care for our spiritual side as well. Jesus told us “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 NIV).
The trees made it a long time without showing any sign of stress from the drought, so it is with us. We can look like we are making it fine, but eventually the drought of God’s Word will show. And the colors of our lives will not be as brilliant as they were meant to be.
You see the Bible tells us something else, it says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). It takes time for God’s word to mature in us. It takes time for a life of prayer to bear fruit. It takes time for the fruit of the spirit to grow and mature; for things like love, joy, peace, patience and kindness to develop in us (see Galatians 5:22-23).
A drought of God’s word leaves our love a pale shadow of what it ought to be. It means that our joy is muted, our kindness sometimes falters, and our peace quickly falls away like a dead leaf in a windstorm. These are colors God wants to grow rich and deep in your life, but they cannot grow without the rain of God’s word.
When was the last time you read God’s word? When was the last time you hid it in your heart? When was the last time you studied the word of God or heard it faithfully proclaimed? Next time you look at the fall trees, remember the summer showers. Allow God to pour his showers of blessing into your heart and life through His word even today.