Mowing a lawn is a chore for most people, including me; but generally I really like doing it. It’s not that I enjoy the tedious pushing of the mower up and down the lawn…that’s just hard work. Instead, what I really like is the smell of fresh cut grass and how clean and manicured the lawn looks when I’m done.

While mowing my lawn one day, I noticed that it hadn’t grown much and was really pretty dry in spots. I have automatic sprinklers, so I usually never think twice about the need to water the lawn. The closer I looked, the more I realized that the soil was very dry, and there were brown patches developing—a clear sign that the lawn was distressed for not getting enough water.

Looking at the automatic sprinkler controller, I realized that the timer was set too low. July and August are the hottest and driest times of the year, and the sprinklers need to be adjusted for that. I turned a few dials and flipped a switch, and water began to fall on the lawn like a much-needed summer rainfall. I actually ran the sprinklers through a few cycles, hopeful that too much damage had not been done and the grass could quickly recover.

Within a day or so, I was very happy to see that the front lawn had become once again an emerald-green carpet of grass. Although the blades of grass had been dry, the roots had remained healthy, and that meant they could quickly suck up the water—which they did, like a parched desert traveler finding an oasis pool.

There have been many times in my spiritual life when I seem to go through dry spells. Usually it is my own fault, because I have neglected my personal spiritual disciplines of prayer time, devotional reading of the scriptures, or fellowshipping with others.  The key to my lawn’s recovery was the healthy root system, and I have found that having deep spiritual roots has helped me through dry spiritual times, too.

The first sign that I’m neglecting time with God and His family is dryness. I lack a vibrancy and energy in my spiritual life. When I don’t drink enough water, my mouth gets dry, which tells me, “Hey! You need some water.” Similarly, when we don’t drink from God’s source of living water, we will become spiritually parched—giving the sense that we need to do something to fix this.

Our spiritual walk goes through cycles of up and down, hot and cold. This is why we need to take the time to develop deep spiritual roots so we don’t easily dry up, and so that we stay put, anchored in God and drinking from His well. We all go through dry times, but what is truly vital is having deep spiritual roots.