Flourishing in the Desert


“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8

The home we recently moved into had been vacant for three years prior to our arrival, so there were about three years worth of weeds waiting for me in the backyard when we moved in!  My trusty lawnmower and I made short work of the tall grass, but I really struggled with the goathead weeds, which were as tall as my neck in some places!  The goathead weeds thrive in our desert climate, produce the sharp stickers you see pictured above, and are difficult to get rid of.  I was able to chop these weeds down to size, but they’re still thriving out there in our yard.

As I struggled with these weeds, I couldn’t help but marvel at the way they are able to flourish in such a hostile environment.  There is very little water, and long days full of hot, direct sunlight.  How are these hardy little plants able to do so well?  I began to think of the Christian life, and decided that I would love to be like that little weed.  I want to be so deeply rooted in Christ that I am able to flourish as a Christian no matter how harsh my surrounding conditions might become.

This past week has been a trying one for our nation, and I’ve never felt so disappointed in our Supreme Court or the leadership at the White House.  Not only have they overstepped and begun chipping away at religious liberty, but they have given others a license to sin and are reveling in it.  Surely we are are about to see dark days here in America, because God is not mocked and we as a nation will have to reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

I also worry that our culture is becoming more and more hostile toward Christianity, and our surrounding environment is not as conducive to growing in our faith and standing boldly for the truth of God’s Word as it once was.  Now, more than ever before, we will begin to see which Christians are deeply rooted in Christ and are able to thrive in these “desert” conditions, and which ones are not as mature and will begin to wither in their faith.

So how can we, as Christians, flourish in the midst of a spiritual desert?

     – Trust in the LORD  (Jeremiah 17:5-13)

     – Delight in God’s Word (Psalm 1)

     – Reach Out in Love and “Bear Fruit” by Sharing Our Faith (Psalm 1:3; Jer. 17:8)

The world needs the Gospel now more than ever, and we as Christians have been put here during this time in our nation’s history for such a time as this, to be missionaries to a people who increasingly hate God and His truth.  Let’s be strong, my brothers and sisters, trust in God alone, stand by His Word, and reach out to a hurting world with the love of Christ.

If we do, then no matter how scarce the water gets or how hot the sun may burn, we will absolutely flourish as men and women of God.


6 thoughts on “Flourishing in the Desert

  1. John Mark, This was wonderful … I’m blessed by your encouragement today.

    I have to admit that I’ve dropped out of blogging due to having the two foster toddlers back in our home, and five teens who are seeing who can do the most during their summer break. I’m not sure which is more difficult, mothering toddlers or teens! However, you and your family were on my mind a day or two ago, as I realized it had been a while since I had read a blog post from The Artistic Christian. I prayed for you all … so glad to hear that things are going well. Prayers for continued blessings upon you and your family.


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