21 Jun Faithfully Preparing Our Fields During Drought
Wednesday June 21st marked the Summer Solstice meaning summer is here. The Washington DC Metro area is officially in a drought, the third driest start of a year since 1872 according to a local weatherman.
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the two neighboring farmers who were experiencing an extended drought. Both of them prayed to God to send rain. Both claimed they had faith God would answer their prayers. One farmer plowed his fields and planted his seeds while the other simply waited for rain. When the rain came, only the farmer who planted was rewarded with a bountiful harvest.
Now picture Noah who spent decades working on the Ark, which in modern terms has been estimated to be the size of the Queen Elizabeth II with the metric tonnage of the Titanic. Noah wasn’t deterred by taunting as he toiled faithfully on a project that must have seemed ridiculous to onlookers since it was nowhere near a large body of water.
The Bible is also full of warning of what happens to those who lose faith:
The Israelites wandered in desert for 40 years because they lost faith in God to deliver on his promises. It wasn’t until the unfaithful generation died off that the Israelites were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
When Abraham didn’t trust God and conceived Ishmael through Hagar, Sarah’s servant, God didn’t speak to Abraham for 13 years. When Abraham refocused on God, the covenant promise of Isaac was delivered.
Do you remember what happened to Jonah when he refused to go to Nineveh? He ended up in the belly of a whale until he had a change of heart.
So what should we do when we are in a season of drought, whether personally or metaphorically, to make sure we are following the course of Noah and the faithful farmer?
Keep praying and be reassured that God is listening. “And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
My simple prayer is “Lord, give me a mind to discern, a will to pursue, and a body to carry out the plans you have for me.”
For me, the hardest thing is to make time to listen when I pray. And when I think I’ve listened enough, to stop and listen more, following the directive from Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God!”
We know our purpose is not to fit in, but to stand out, and be set apart according to God’s individual plans for each of us and as a church congregation. To figure that out we need to look beyond the big three: bodies, budgets, and baptisms, and pray, listen, and be willing to allow the Spirit of God to fall afresh on our church, like rain.
Your Sister in Christ,