Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thirsty Yet?

He covers the sky with clouds, he supplies the earth with rain, 
and makes the grass grow on the hills.
- Psalms 147:8
This summer has been oppressively hot.  Drought is the word here in Texas.   The earth is groaning for a drink.  Unsure of their survival, this morning my plants, still enjoying another hour or so of dawn's dew, seemed to be bracing themselves for another scorcher.  We've just "enjoyed" 43 days in a row of 100 degree temperatures.   Most weathermen are not predicting any significant chance of rain until mid-late September.

Here in East Texas Lake Palestine is down 17 percent from last year and there are burn bans in effect all over Texas.   Farmers are praying for their crops while mothers whose children can't play safely outdoors pray for relief.   Even the swimming pools are brimming with hot water.   It is literally too hot in the hot tub!

Where is the relief in the midst of such thirstiness? We wait and we wait coming face to face with the frightening reality of our impotence to affect our desired end.   We are all at mercy of a God who sends rain on the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45).

If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own. 
- Madaline L'Engle, Walking On Water

Yes, Elton, there's a circle of life but this side of eternity it might just as well be called a circle of death.  Something is broken.   We look to the skies for clouds that might contain drops of rain yet what comes is just tease -- an isolated afternoon thunderstorm that only whets our appetite for what seems to never come.   What we really need is a downpour.   The earth here is literally dying for it.

This drought is further evidence of God's wrath against all creation.  In essence the curtain is being pulled back on what children of wrath (Eph. 2:3) deserve all the time.    But like a sweet storm God's Grace is coming in Jesus....

 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. - Roman 8:22-25

Do we complain or do we hope?  Do we grow in cynicism or do we grow in faith?

Complaining about the weather seems to be a favorite American pastime. Sadly, we Christians often get caught up in this ungodly habit in our society.  But when we complain about the weather, we are actually complaining against God who sent us our weather. We are, in fact, sinning against God. 
- Jerry Bridges

Ouch Jerry!  So I suppose we're to be thankful?  YES! As Paul writes to the Thessalonians, "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".

Receiving this drought as a gift seems counter-intuitive to be sure!  But we're promised that "God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes"(Rom. 8:28).   Not having our requests answered can indeed bring about a true yearning for the hope that is to come.
This momentary suffering can lead us to a deeper hope for the eternal end of all suffering.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. 
- Rev. 21:2, 4-5

John The Revelator was given a vision of all things being made new - the death of death and the beginning of life everlasting.  There we will drink and be satisfied, eat and be full.  In the New Kingdom flowers will never wilt and the crops will never die.   

But this side of eternity I look forward in faith to dancing like Gene Kelly (or not at all like Gene Kelly, but dancing just the same!) when God does send the rain.   It will be a foretaste of Heaven - a shadow of the true quenching that is to come.

I'm giddy at the thought of dancing in the streets with my wife and children when God finally releases the blessing that is rain.   When we are most unqualified, most undeserving, most unsuspecting, He showers us with His goodness and pours His grace into our heart creating a wellspring from within us.  

At an infinite cost to Himself He's rained down grace upon the earth most exceptionally in the cross of Christ.  He has created and meets a desire for rain in the earth.   And by His amazing grace, He creates a supernatural desire within us for Him and then fills us with His very presence satisfying our souls like flood waters covering the cracked, dry Texas earth.

It's coming.   I've got my dancing shoes on!

Grace and Peace,

This Week... 

Kings Cross Chapter 15
   @ 2 American Center, 5th Floor (Ritcheson Law Firm)

* Thursday: Megan and I celebrate 10 years of marriage - Thank You Lord!

* Friday: The Magills w/ The In-Laws and Outlaws at The Moore's Store in Ben Wheeler, TX - 8-11pm - Don't miss it!!!!!

Next Week...   
* Men's Lunch @ Dakota's in Tyler, TX - Mondays @ 12pm - Keller's Kings Cross - Chapter 13

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