Grow Your Leaves

When we got to our rental house, we were surprised and a little disappointed in the lack of foliage in our view. The pictures online were obviously taken during the rainy season, and we arrived at the end of the dry season. It was still beautiful, but we wondered how it would look when the vegetation was full and luscious. 

We assumed that this time of year, at the end of months and months with no rain, the landscape was as brown as it would ever be. 

We were surprised when the caretaker of the property told us it was good we hadn't come a few months earlier. In February, it was completely barren, with no green anywhere. But now, in April, at the cusp of the rainy season that would begin in May, the trees were beginning to grow their leaves back.

The trees grew their leaves in anticipation of the rain, not in response to it. 

Though Nicaragua is close to the Equator, it is just far enough north to have seasonal differences in sunlight. At the time of the December solstice, the sun is up for about eleven and a half hours a day. By the June solstice the amount of sunlight increases to almost thirteen hours a day. From one day to the next, that change is almost imperceptible seconds earlier and minutes later of sunlight. Yet, the vegetation of the area senses the difference. 

The trees feel the predictable changes in the sun’s light from season to season. They begin to grow their leaves while still in the dry season, so that when the rain does come, they will be able to receive its nourishment with every piece of themselves.

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It was not until the priests set their feet on the waters edge that the rivers of the Jordan stopped flowing so the Israelites could pass through. It was not until the disciples got into their boats and rowed away from shore that their nets filled with a miraculous catch of fish.

Like a tree notices and trusts the cycle of the sun, I am often called step into the movement of God with action before confirmation.

"Trust in the Lord and do good;
     dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
     and he will give you the desires of your heart.” - Psalm 37:3-4

Trust is the first step to new life. Doing good, tov in Hebrew, is the second. 

Trust in the Lord and do tov. Do those things that have been planted in you, that the Creator calls good when you bring forth. Even if you don’t know exactly what will come with the next season, you know the goodness of the One who will deliver it.

Come to life. You do not need confirmation that the rain will come, or how much will come, before growing your leaves. If you wait until you know more, you will miss some of what is coming. 

God's light is trustworthy. The rain is on its way.

The trees of Nicaragua grow their leaves in anticipation of the rain, not in response to it. They know the rain is coming because of the changes in the sun.
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