The Lessons of Drought and Rain

2014-valley-drought

Dare we read and believe verses that say God knows and uses the weather to get our attention so that we would return to Him?

Consider this: The central California region, known as the San Joaquin Valley, is in the midst of severe drought. In 24-48 hours the region is expected to get wind and moderate to heavy rain. If predictions hold and the storm materializes, it will be the most significant rainful since 2009. My wife and I are currently at a mission station near Hanford, which is near the middle of that same valley. Water is real important because the valley is like a huge bread basket for California and nearby states. You can tell the issue is important because of public arguments, big signs along highways, peoples’ tempers flaring over the issue, farms that have closed up, political fights, media articles, and just plain hardworking people trying to deal with the lack of water in various ways.

Let’s pretend for a moment that it rains a 3-5 inches.

Let’s pretend the following occurs:

—Believers throughout the valley begin calling their pastors or other friends who are believers to rejoice together at the first major rain that mitigates the long standing drought. Some are farmers, distributors, farm suppliers, and workers of the fields.

—But the list goes on, because some of those believers work in the grocery business, some are families that buy those groceries, some are politicians whose constituents work the farms and fields, some are city dwellers that see their reservoirs stop receding, some are officials trying to figure out where the future water will come from, and some are poor and needy folk that realize agricultural abundance means it will be easier and less costly to get food.

—But the list goes further. All of these people have believing friends in other parts of the states. Now their friends start to rejoice with them when they hear of the rain that has come.

—But it goes further. Import/export companies see that less expensive produce might get to them again, and their customers are in countries with dire food needs where there is a lasting drought.

—But it goes further. Some of the richest folk who are believers go to restaurants often. They hear from friends of friends in the San Joaquin Valley that rains have come. They are thankful, and call their friends.

Within a day, meetings are scheduled among groups of believers, like those listed above. They gather to give thanks to God for the rain, and pray for those still in drought in other places. They renew their commitment to give thanks to God in all things, but lift their hands and voices to give thanks because of this turning-point rain. When they leave these gatherings of thanksgiving, they share the joy of the rain event with neighbors and friends who are not believers.

The events get the attention of unbelievers because of the purity and singleness of heart among working to rich believers because with the message is simple: “God has had mercy on us. Therefore, we give thanks from out hearts, and testify of His goodness. We are undeserving of His blessing, but He loves us with an everlasting love through His son, so we lift our hands and voices with thanksgiving.”

As the ripple effects continue, some unbelievers, realizing the state of their heart in the face of the testimonies and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent and turn to God.

Back to reality….

What do you think you will do if the rains come as predicted? Do you think it is even remotely possible that an outcry of thanksgiving to God among believers can occur? Could it possibly lead to a swell of thanksgiving among believers, or even a public returning to God among those convicted of sin? Would you rise the day after the rain and humble yourself to give thanks to God for bringing the rain to this drought parched land–even if it is far from your home? Have you considered thanking God for such a “simple” thing as rain when it is needed where you live, even if you are a city dweller and have never seen where your food is grown and how it gets to a place where you buy it? Have you considered praying for those who are parched–in their lands or even in their souls?

Consider the scriptures below and ask yourself, does Eternal God change, or is He still the same? Are we thankful when rains come? Are we thankful to Him if they don’t, realizing He still has a hand in the matter?

Amos 4:7-8 I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me, declares the Lord.

Job 33:29-30 God does all these things to a man–twice, even three times–to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.

Job 37:13 He brings clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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