Have you ever walked through a corn or hay field on an early summer morning before the grasses have been dried by the sun? If not, then please imagine such a walk with me – a salmon pink sunrise promising a hot sunny day is breaking through a thick cool clean-fragranced mist rising over sturdy plants heavy and drooping over with the weight of the past night’s dew that soaks boots, socks, and pant legs up to the knee and hips. Green glistening leaves rich with a hope that soaks hearts, minds, and souls for days yet to come.
Yet did you know that not all of that wetness was dropped as dew from clouds too heavy to hold any more water last night? Some of it evaporated from the soil and was trapped on the underside of the leaves. Other of it came out of the tip ends of the plants themselves. All of it together nourishes all of us, in so many ways.
The moisture that came from the plants’ leaf tip ends is called the waters of guttation. These waters are the result of increased pressure inside the plants from excess water that was taken up from the soil during the day by the actively growing plants. Since (most) plants aren’t doing photosynthesis at night, this water isn’t needed at that time by the plants and can’t be effectively stored for use the next day. This water has nowhere to go but up and out the tip ends. Another reason the waters of guttation flow from the plant leaf tip ends is because the plants’ stomata are closed at night in the absence of photosynthesis. Stomata are tiny pores on plant leaves and stems used for exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Thus, their closure prevents further water loss from the plant through evaporation at night. And this closure leads to even more buildup of the waters of guttation.
The other morning while enjoying an early morning walk like I described above, I was reminded of Psalm 25:12 Even the desert pastures drip with [dew], and the hills are dressed in pure joy. That verse became my reality that morning. The plants and I were literally dripping with His care given overnight in advance of the next day’s needs. As my boots and pants soaked up the wet bounty, my heart soaked in the joy of knowing that He would graciously, generously provide all that was needed for whatever today held for me (see Philippians 4:13). And my wet boots and pants kept on reminding me of this superabundance of grace every step of the way…
That wet joy then dripped deeper down into the dry soil of my soul where it helped nourish contentment for the challenges of the now and faith for the unknown of the not-yet. This soil scientist knows that contentment is a hard crop to plant, nurture, and harvest but is an essential crop for the true life that abides in and with Christ as found in John 15.
This soil scientist also knows that a wet soil is a soft, vulnerable soil ripe for removal of those pesky weedy sins of all shapes and sizes. And after the weeding is done, the damp clean soil is ready to be planted with grace-seeds for a harvest of abiding contentment and the kingdom yet to come (see Matthew 6:33). When the seedbed is ready, this is the time for the beginning of a new season of growth from the gift of joy dripped down from the superabundance of grace above and wrung out from the gift of the pressures of life here below. All of working together to nourish all of us, in so many ways.
The wetness of joy strengthens the soil of one’s soul when it comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5), both down from heaven and up from the plants growing in expectation of harvest (see Matthew 13:23). And this truth makes this soil scientist wonder if the giving of dew of joy from above prompts the response of the waters of joy springing up from the tip ends of the plants who can’t hold back their rightful praise to the One Who made them. Could these waters of guttation be like tears of joy which overflow the eyes of the groom at the sight of his bride, the mother at the sight of her newborn baby, or the reunion with longed-for faraway family and friends? Joy far too rich and deep to be contained at the moment of fulfilled promise. Joy that just has to drip down and pulse up and out of the tip ends of our lives…
Could these waters of guttation represent the fullness of that day’s joy uptake by His children in the unrestrained gratitude that more than needed for that day’s growth was given today just like the day before? The overflow in the knowledge that this fullness isn’t needed to be stored for the next day because of the faith that more would be given, just like the manna in the desert appearing after the dew dried each morning (see Numbers 11:9). All of it working together to nourish all of us, in so many ways.
Each morning, we have opportunity to receive the treasure of His powerful joy poured freely into us jars of clay formed from the dust and remembered as such by the Creator Who made us for this very purpose (see 2 Corinthians 4:7, Genesis 2:7, and Psalm 103:14). And this joy not only will soak our souls but overflow up and out of the tip ends of our lives into others’ lives as evidence of the tender, constant, providing care of the One Who is Creator, Joy-Giver, and lifter of our heads (see Psalm 3:3).
Proverbs 13:20. By his knowledge, the deeps broke open and the clouds drop down the dew
Thank You that You hear my prayers for joy and give it in the morning. Thank You that You are faithful to give and You alone are enough for today. Thank You I can trust You for tomorrow. Please help me to receive every drop of joy You give. Please help me to grow in obedience and maturity that more joy might come up from the soil of my soul in praise to You. You alone are Worthy of all praise, especially that which flows up and out of the tip ends of my life.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021