By: Staci Stallings
I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s not March yet, but here in the Texas Panhandle, March has a way of coming early and staying late. It could be worse. I could still live in Lubbock where during bona fide March, the sky actually turns red from all the clay kicked up from the wind. Every February, I get to thinking how lucky I am that no matter how bad it blows here, the worst the sky gets is a sickly brown-gray. Believe me, that’s an improvement.
It may be that you’ve never lived in the Texas Panhandle, so you don’t know the benefits–like the wide prairies with no trees to block your view for miles, or the brilliant, incredible sunsets, or the friendly folks. If that is the case, you are missing out. But in the eight weeks of March (taking 2 from February and 2 from April), you would probably think I need my head examined for saying it’s a lovely place to live. Yes, the wind is bad. Really bad.
That’s why the farmers wear their feed caps down over their ears. It’s why Texas women are so famed for wearing so much hairspray, and probably the reason few still do. A friend who had moved here once said, “Doesn’t it ever quit blowing?” A mild breeze starts at about 20. Wind starts anywhere from 30-40. Wind-Y is in the 50-60 range. And a good stiff breeze somewhere in the 70′s range. (And yes, I’ve seen my share of those. In fact, a small town not far from here had powerlines blown down and roofs off of buildings last week from “straight line winds.” For those who don’t know, that’s what they call a tornado with no funnel.
So, the Texas Panhandle is a great place to live to really understand a lesson God gave me a few years back. I was reading about Job and about a tree with rocks. The book talked about how a tree that has grown in rocks is susceptible to compromise because it has only got its roots in the rocks. It hasn’t been forced to dig into the soil, so when the rocks are removed, the tree has no deep root system and it is easily compromised.
The rocks represent those things in our lives that hold us up (but that are not God). Things like money and friends and power. When those rocks are removed, if we haven’t dug all the way down into the soil of God, we’re in big trouble.
But I never thought about this.
Do you know why it gets windy in March? Why March?
I mean the plants are just starting to grow again. New life. It seems God would’ve been smart enough to let them grow a little without pelting them with gusts and gusts of leaf-tearing wind. ESPECIALLY because it hasn’t even really rained yet (okay, in the Texas Panhandle, it never rains, but that’s beside the question). Why would God do that? Wouldn’t He want to give the plants a big drink and get them on a good path BEFORE the trials and tribulations hit?
Ha. But that’s where God is smarter than us! See, God knows that AFTER April and May will come June and then July and then AUGUST. Each month after the growing season will get progressively hotter and drier, so if a plant hasn’t put down deep roots, it will not survive.
So rather than rain and let the plants soak up the easy top water first, God makes life tough for them. To get at water, the plant has to dig down deep. To further encourage this, God sends wind and lots of it. Now you know that if you’ve got a plant that is not anchored well, it will not last in wind. So the wind FORCES the young plants to put down deep roots, to get to the water, and to get anchored from the ravages of the wind.
Then when the rains come, it can soak up everything from the top soil down into its deep roots. Further, during the summer months, the plant can find water buried deep even as the top soil gets dry, so it can survive and even flourish.
So how about you? Do you curse the bad times and yell at God because He hasn’t made everything easy? Or do you learn to go ever-deeper in His love–past the rocks, anchoring in for those times you’re going to need Him most?
The truth is, you may have little nothing breezes where you live, but someday, your life may turn like the Texas Panhandle in March. It may even be like Lubbock. Now’s the time to get deep so you’ll be ready for those stiff breezes–or straight line winds–that come your way.