As I walked from the house to the mailbox today, I heard a sound that was strange and not at all comfortable. It was the crunch of grass beneath my feet. Our lawn has become a dry, prickly sea of brown stick like blades that threaten the comfort of anyone who dares cross them without shoes. :-)
Of even more consequence, though, is the drought that is choking out our summer crops. Here in northwest Ohio, corn is drying up and tasseling out before the ears mature. Bean fields lack their usual robust fullness. The earth's surface is cracking and separating from lack of moisture. These signs spell trouble for farmers this year, and for food prices for the general public as early as 2013. We need rain.
As much as our earth (and our bodies) crave moisture and produce poorly without it, I'm reminded of another drought...one that threatens to suffocate our souls. Just as nature has its seasons, our spiritual walk has cycles. Some are rich in blessing and growth, others are like my grass...dry and withered. Acts of prayerlessness, doubt, negativity, and elusiveness, along with a myriad of other sin can lead us into drought before backsliding or reconciliation occurs, but more often than not, busyness and misplaced priorities are the hindrances that keep us from soaking up the presence of God. Sometimes these periods of dryness come upon us seemingly out of nowhere. If you've been a Christian for any length of time, you can probably relate to the spiritual drought of which I speak.
Recently, I was made aware of my soul's thirsty condition, and I drew near to God, asking Him to again pour out His Spirit on my desperate heart. It wasn't long before He did exactly as I had asked, and it seemed that He was so near that His garment could be touched. Just as our earth has experienced periods of brief showers in recent days, when we sense His presence we cry, "Send more! We aren't satisfied with sporadic droplets, bring on the rain!"
In direct proportion to our desperation, He responds in great measure. He visited my church on Wednesday night, showing Himself strong to two ladies, and raining on the rest of us through their exhuberant testimonies of praise. It was as if buckets of blessings were released and those of us that were thirsty and waiting could have as much as we could soak in! He has used those spontaneous praise notes to bless me over and over throughout the last couple of days, and my faith is strengthened. God is at work! He is convicting, He is rescuing, He is changing destinies, and He is refreshing the hearts of those who have fixed their focus on their Creator.
How beautiful are the moments when we feel Heaven's rain!
I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill.
I will send down showers in season;
there will be showers of blessing.