The Dust Trail
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38
Oh, Lord, how I long to be a source of Your living water for parched and thirsty souls. My prayer was more a cry than a request—a longing from deep within my listless soul. In the precious solitude of a rare morning alone, I’d reached for my Bible like a starving sojourner reaching for a crust of bread. I read John 7:38 and the beauty of the language caught my breath, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” The Spirit stirred my soul with desire and I cried out to God.
As I meditated on Christ’s words, pictures of the shallow and still rivers and streams we’d seen on a recent trip to Yosemite filled my mind. I recalled a winding section of trail that leads to Vernal Falls known as the Mist Trail. During the spring and summer months when the falls flow at their peak, the crashing cascade showers the trail with iridescent veils of mist, refreshing weary hikers making their way to one of God’s most glorious wonders.
However, in a year when the snow pack and rain levels have been low, the falls become a mere trickle and the ascent up the steep path is a hot and arid climb. Such was the case when I’d last hiked the trail and laughingly dubbed the Mist Trail the “Dust Trail” for its dry and dusty terrain.
I realized that morning how like the trickling falls was the stagnant stream in my soul. I’d experienced a drought during the busyness of the summer months and felt as though I’d hiked the “Dust Trail” spiritually for much too long. I returned my attention to Jesus’ words in search of the path that would lead me back to flowing rivers of living water.
The path is clearly marked: “He who believes in Me,” said Jesus, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” We receive the power of the indwelling Spirit of God when we believe in and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. If the Holy Spirit, the spring of “living water,” resides within us, why then does it seem the river flowing from our being is often inconsistent? Some days, God’s love flows in and through us refreshing all whose lives we touch; other days our souls are desert-like, a dry and cracked landscape that offers little to those we encounter.
The answer lies in Paul’s warning to the church of Thessalonica: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). It’s possible to quench or stymie the flow of God’s Spirit through our being and I believe we do so when we choose to live in drought-like conditions—a world ruled by self, busyness, and discontent.
Prior to Paul’s caution, he instructed the church of Thessalonica to live together in love, to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks. Like precious drops of rain falling on hardened soil, when followed, Paul’s instructions soften the dusty terrain of our hardening hearts. When we love and encourage those around us, when we live all of life as a prayer, when, even in our darkest moments, we thank God for His sovereignty, the Holy Spirit revives our dehydrated souls. Then, once again, rivers of living water flow from our innermost being offering the refreshment of Christ’s love to those with whom we hike life’s trails.
Ginny Yttrup is the award-winning author of Words, Lost and Found, Invisible, Flames, and her most recent novel, Home, which releases April 1, 2017. She writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny’s work “as inspiring as it is entertaining.” When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry. She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult sons, or spending a day in her pajamas reading a great novel. Ginny lives in northern California with Bear, her entitled Pomeranian.
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About the Book
The fourth novel from acclaimed, award-winning author Ginny L. Yttrup. When betrayal’s flames explode, can Jessica Weaver preserve what matters most?
As a fire archeologist, preserving Yosemite National Park’s natural and cultural resources is Jessica’s job. As a wife and mother, preserving her family’s legacy is her obsession. But when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, betrayal’s flames threaten her family and all she’s fought to protect.
Haley Weaver, a sophomore in high school, is a daddy’s girl. As she enters the throes of first love, timid yet intrigued, Haley also discovers her father’s affair. Stunned and broken, Haley flees into the wilds of Yosemite National Park. If she can’t trust her father, how can she trust her boyfriend—or even love itself?
When wildfire breaks out and Haley is missing, Jessica fears the worst. In a race against time, she searches for her daughter as she deals with the magnitude of what her husband’s affair may cost her family. How can she go on if she doesn’t find Haley in time?
And what will Jessica do to preserve the legacy that matters most?