A Dormant Season

As I listened to Jack Hibbs on Jan Markel’s broadcast saying that in his own walk with the Lord he could sense things coming to a close on Earth, he perfectly put into words what I have felt for a long time too. For a while, I was worried about that feeling.  Meanwhile, I also knew that I have been less frequently spending literal hours in study and prayer. I don’t believe in  quitting just because of being weary or discouraged. But I was concerned that it has felt like I was not avtively growing.  It is my philosophy that I should never stop growing.  Despite impatience for that flight home I do realize based on the signs the Lord told us to expect, we could potentially go today, but depending whether by the example of a lifespan Jesus gave, being 70 to 80 years (Psalm 90:10)  He meant a generation born during the time when Israel became a nation (May 14, 1948)  or if He meant 70 years from the time when Israel recaptured Jerusalem in the 6 Day War of 1967, (Matthew 24:34).  We could also potentially be here another nineteen years or even 50 years if going by Genesis 6:3.

My husband made a good point. He said weight-lifters don’t build muscle at the gym. What they do by lifting weights is actually tear muscle tissue. It is while resting that the body builds that muscle back up bigger and stronger than before.

The principle of a dormant season is built into Gods design in creation.

Dormant: having normal function suspended or slowed down for a period, as in deep sleep, resting, inactive, passive, in conservation mode, not actively growing or developing. When something in nature is dormant, it is still metabolizing, still alive even though on the surface, it may appear dead. Periods of dormancy are a normal and needful part of lifes cycles. Sometimes, though, a living thing will go dormant for self- preservation, when under adverse conditions.

For plants, dormant season is time for pruning to take place. Doing so promotes better health and future growth. Pruned plants attract fewer disease-bearing insects. A dormant leafless tree makes it more likely that a disease condition will be detected before it can destroy the life of the tree.

Pruning during dormancy avoids reducing the blooms that will appear during the blooming period.

Careful thoughtful and systematic pruning helps promote a more ideal branching pattern. as well as influence future growth and the direction of that growth.

Pruning is like de-cluttering. It gets the no- longer-useful stuff out of the way, so that it does not unnecessarily tax the plant, by siphoning off energy and nutrients, or blocking access to sunlight reaching the leaves when foliage returns.

The stripping down of dormant times makes it easier to access what needs to be pinched off when blooming again. So dormant time is pruning time to facilitate

  • Disease management
  • Weather prepping for harsh conditions to come
  •  Healing
  • Precision of the pruning
  • Better exposure to life-giving sunlight
  • Easier access to what needs to go

Interestingly, grafted plants have special needs and characteristics.

The exclusive benefits of grafting:

  • Grafted plant instantly gains an established root system
  • Produces mature blooms sooner
  • Two become one

Grafting requires the stock plant to sustain a wound.

Their circulatory system must merge

The root of the stock provides the water and minerals to the grafted-in scion

The stock which receives the scion, is superior and stronger

The purpose of a graft is propagation of more fruit, fruit that is disease resistant and a stronger plant over all.

What the plant is grafted into will make the grafted plant larger if the stock is a large or tall plant. If it is grafted to a smaller plant that will make it smaller.

Some plants grow many years before bearing fruit, and a plant that does not get cut back, may have an especially abundant harvest, but will suffer a poor harvest the following year. Sometimes a tree has what is called Improper vigor. Those trees funnel all their energy to growing their wood, and don’t bloom, and therefore bear no fruit. Over fertilization causes this issue. What is fertilizer, but decay and waste? We get over-fertilized in this world if we are not careful, and the same happens to us. No bud, no fragrance, no fruit.

There are an awful lot of parallels to the christian life and growth if you notice.

When a plant or tree is healing, it can’t afford energy for blooming, so for the healing period, no fruit. Doesn’t mean the tree has gone barren. Its just directing energy inward to itself.

To prevent loss of fruit, or fruit drop, keep plants warm, covered during frost, prune and pinch a percentage of the blooms. Some plants will do this on their own. Because they live to bear fruit year after year, so they shed and sacrifice buds the current year, to ensure it can bear well again in the next cycle.

Even the garden, field or orchard needs a dormant season. A time to re- nourish the soil, and break up fallow ground.

So even with the urgency of what by all accounts is a very near end, near is relative, and God knows all about dormant seasons because they were his idea and He ordained them in the first place.

For pretty much all of my life, I have put the needs of others, the feelings of others before those of my own. That is scriptural. But I operate at such a deficit already, so things that many people take in stride, often take a major toll on me.  At the latter part of last year, some things were said about me and things done that were very hurtful. Gossip is a pet peeve of mine. And talking about another person and their private “business” is gossip . Even if that person is family, and particularly when they taint your reputation based on lies and uninformed conclusions, and assumptions. I think that despite Gods directive to put others before ourselves, even He would agree there is a line between giving willingly and obediently, and having what has already been given, unacknowleged, unappreciated, and meanwhile taking for granted that the giving must and should always continue. God doesn’t allow that in granting our desires and prayers. If we never appreciate what He has already given, He doesn’t just keep giving. The ” pearls-before-swine principle applies here. I don,t sit around feeling sorry for myself, because as soon as I do, I know I am blessed in so many ways and who wants to hear their kid whine as if all you already do and give and sacrifice is not enough for them? I have some people in my life that seem to feel I owe them  my loyalty and time and attention and who have only just begun to feel what it is like to lose stamina and strength. They want me to sympathize and acknowledge and even relieve their “sorrow” all the while ignoring the fact I began exoeriencing the losses that come usually with age, starting when I was 30! I’m sorry, but I don’t feel sorry for you. You took it all for granted when you had it. What right do you have to pout and lament about it when you only just recently had to do without it? Thats my view. I have rarely based how I treat others upon how they treat me. I think we have a higher calling than that. For me it was always a matter of principle. But nothing I do for others, entitles them to a lifetime of that generosity.  So I find myself very weary of and much less concernd with what “expectations” people in my life get in their heads concerning me anymore. I have been loyal to people who are not loyal to me, considerate of people to whom it never even occurs for them to consider me. I am not insinuating that I am better than anyone. But I know what I have given and the cost of it, and I don’t mean money.

What I do for others,  often I don’t do it for them, but out of obedience because it is what the lord asks of me. I get my blessing whether or not I even get a thank-you from the person benefitting. God didn’t command us to overcome evil with good so we could “eat crow”. He commanded it for the sake of preventing ourselves from letting resentment chew a hole in our gut and turn us bitter. Ditto thet as His purpose for commanding us to not let the sun go down upon our anger.  When you sleep is whenyour subconscious mind proceeses all the things you experienced during yor day, and files them away. So going to sleep angry is like leaving a stain to set in your favorite shirt because you don’t want to take it off….. because it’s your favorite shirt. So instead of sacrificing the 40 minutes of wear to address the stain, you allow your shirt to be ruined. I have come to learn that all of God’s commands and principles work tha.t way. And we are just as stipid for not submitting to them, as the idiot who lets his own shirt be ruined.

Well, on that note, boys and girls, it is past my bedtime. Its a new day, and I am not even through with the old one. Same goes for the new year. Time waits for no (wo)man!