Since I live in the Midwest, we get some rain during the summer. But we still run sprinklers in the lawn and flower beds to keep things looking good.
Some of the plants in my flower bed thrive and not so much. There are a few that seem particularly dependent upon water and are planted just at the edge of the range of the sprinklers. Those plants always look less robust than the others: the leaves wrinkle, they don’t bloom as well, and they are smaller than those that seem to be better watered.
As far as I can tell, the dirt is pretty much the same. They all get the same dose of Miracle Gro every few weeks. The big difference in their care is the water.
When I think about my own gospel experience, I sometimes ask myself how close I am to the water. If I feel my enthusiasm flag, if I find myself hypercritical of my friends at church, if I find myself complaining about being asked to serve or to attend a meeting, I have learned to ask how close I am to the water.
Unlike my plants, I can move closer if I need to (or want to). I can read the scriptures more. I can pay more attention to my prayers. I can open the door and invite the Savior into my life. I can give more freely of myself. All of those things help me to drink more freely of the living water of the gospel (See John 4).
One of my favorite promises is in Isaiah 58, a great chapter on the law of the fast. If we draw near to the Lord (by properly fasting and caring for the poor in this chapter), we are promised, “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11).
That’s something I – and the plants in my garden – would like.