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We recently visited a part of South Africa called the ‘Vaal Triangle’. It is close to the Vaal dam and Vaal river. We visited in winter and then realised why it’s called the Vaal Triangle. In Afrikaans the word ‘Vaal’ means colourless, bland in colour, or of no colour. During the dry winter months this area is drab, dreary and extremely ‘vaal’. Even the trees are covered with dust, their usual green faded by it. In our lives there can be seasons that seem colourless, dry and dreary, where mundanity is our existence with little colour, excitement or something to look forward to. Basic survival becomes our everyday drone, whilst we ‘weather’ the dry winter.  Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. In these seasons I am reminded that spring will come and with it water. When it rains in the Vaal area during spring and summer it’s not a soft drizzle. The rain comes in torrents with thunder and lightning. The grass is hardy, so when the storms come they are well rooted and can withstand the flash floods. The roots are deep. As the summer rains beat down, they steadfastly absorb the rain whilst it washes away winters’ dust. Spring will come, it always does! Are we ready? The challenge is to allow the winter months to dig our roots deeper, looking for the deep water beneath the soil… to not allow winter to hinder the spring that is within us through God’s Holy Spirit. When the blessings or breakthrough come, we are then ready to blossom, shining forth our colours brightly. I have seen many people over the years not recognize the breakthrough when it comes. They become so used to carrying the dust of winter, that when spring comes, they cannot seem to wash it off. We need to let go of the ‘dust’, the failures, the disappointments and the unforgiveness.  In winter, allow your roots to go deep in God. Be faithful in drinking from His well of life. Spend time in His word, don’t neglect fellowship and keep looking up at Him- the bright shining ‘Sun’.  When spring comes (and it will) allow the dust to wash off, embrace thankfulness and freedom because as winter passes, so also will it return. Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Embrace the season, be content and thankful where you are. Those are the catalysts for faithful living, for fruit when it seems humanly impossible. God makes all things new!

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