The Master Gardener!

Isaiah 58:11

And the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

One of the realities of the Christian life is the “dry spell.” True, there are moments in our Christian walk when grace is pouring out in buckets, life is happy and peppy and bursting with love, and the smallest prayer seems to elicit ridiculously disproportionate blessings from Heaven. But there also come moments when we beat our heads against a Heaven of brass and nothing happens. We are faced with the challenge of looking around at a universe in which all trace of God seems to have vanished. At such a point, we look up at the pitiless sun and have to choose whether we will give up or do the biblical thing of asking why we have been forsaken and then slogging ahead in obedience to God. Very frequently, it is only after such dry spells, weathered in the Spirit of Christ’s perseverance, that we find the next outpouring of grace. But that makes sense. After all, gardens don’t grow if it there’s nothing but rain, just as they don’t grow if there’s nothing but sunshine. So expect to be like a watered garden. But don’t expect the water will run continuously. It will run when it is needed and it will stop when it needs to be stopped. Both are the wise Providence of the Master Gardener.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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