by Phyllis Bourque
In attending the Feast in recent years at Pismo Beach, California, one of the things I have enjoyed doing is going to the local farmers markets. There is a plentiful array of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh squeezed juices, dried fruits, smoked fish, local honey, nuts, fresh cut flowers, and so much more!
While meandering among the bountiful displays, I noticed a sign at one of the apple vendors that read “dry farmed” and I wondered what it meant. When I asked the vendor, he explained that they do not irrigate. The trees are well-established and the roots are deep enough to go in search of ground water, so irrigation is not necessary. He named some other crops that were also dry-farmed, which I found interesting, considering that much of the growing regions of California have been suffering from drought for multiple years.
I read in Wikipedia, regarding dry-farming: “In California, where torrential rains saturate the soil in the winter and the summers are bone-dry, our climate naturally allows for dry farming, a method where all irrigation is cut off after the plants have become established. This lack of water stresses the plant, forcing its roots deep into the soil in search of water and focuses its efforts on producing fruit.”
It was interesting to consider the spiritual parallel in my life. I began to question how deep my spiritual roots go and how established they are. I am certainly “well watered” with sermons every Sabbath and the annual Holy Days. I have my Bible and I have over 40 booklets, hundreds of weekly Updates with Q&As and Editorials, and numerous member letters within easy reach for studying specific topics. But hearing the messages and reading the words is not enough. What is there in my life that would incline my spiritual roots to go in search of the deeper life-giving water and to become well-established?
I would have to say it is, at least in part, the stress of various trials that God allows me to be subjected to, so that I will be motivated to go in search of a deeper life-giving relationship with Him in order to be well-established and produce fruit acceptable to Him.