Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Drought

The thunder is rolling.  I hear the sound of heavy drops on the windows and roof.  The dogs are barking at lightning and running around like the crazy animals they are.  The hens are running for cover.  It's raining.  


God's salve for our thirsty land.
(Here is a picture of the corn bending under the wind and rain.) 

If you live anywhere in the Midwest, there is little chance you've missed the news about this year's drought. Here is the latest drought monitor.  If you look closely, our area (West Central Illinois) is considered to be "severe" to "extreme".  What's incredible is that much of the country is also.  

Signs of the time - Crop yields are expected to be significantly below average.  Farmers with livestock are selling off their animals because it's too expensive to buy feed and their pastures are burned up.   Corn stalks literally baked in the sun without relief.  In town, usually green lawns are brown and crisp.  On the news, reporters talk about the possible increase in the price of food and other goods.  Countless prayers for rain.  

This brings to mind an Arab proverb I heard recently - "All sunshine makes a desert."  
It certainly has felt that way this year.  

But an interesting thing happens to corn when there is little rain.  Because there is no moisture in the top soil, its roots must drive deep in search of water.  Strangely, the (temporarily) dry weather can serve to strengthen the plant and its root system.  A larger root system then allows it to absorb optimal moisture when it does rain.  What a beautiful metaphor for life.  

The dry times in life - the difficult or "desert" seasons where Jesus may at times not feel close, can, with His help, serve to grow and deepen our faith.  They force us to dive into His cry out for His press into His Presence in order to find the solace, reassurance, and relief we need.  These spiritual "roots" that are formed can later steady us during hardship, and ultimately will help us grow more mature in Christ.  

So while we pray for showers of His Spirit, love, grace, and blessings, let us praise Him in the "drought".  It, too, God can use to grow us.  

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