Are there any droughts in your life right now? Elijah’s answered prayer came after three years of famine in the land. Don’t give up on God.
I’ve never really minded the rain. I don’t particularly care if my hair gets wet, and I like watching the rain fall. Growing up in the Houston area, I learned to interpret weather forecasts differently from most people. You see, if the news said that there was a 30% chance of rain, that meant it would rain 30% of the day – it was a given that there would be rain, of some sort. The question was only how much rain.
One of my favorite Bible stories has to do with rain … rather, the lack thereof. I encourage you to take some time this week and read 1 Kings 18. Elijah is one of the most remarkable people in the Bible; I would love to have a teaspoon of his faith! The passage begins in the middle of a terrible drought: three solid years without a drop of rain. Elijah was the only living prophet of the Lord, and King Ahab had succumbed to the influence of false gods.
Elijah did something ridiculous in his challenge to the prophets of Baal. Not only did he stand up against 450 of them, but he even drenched his sacrifice in water before asking God to light it on fire. What astounding, sold-out faith! You’ll have to read the chapter to catch the details, but suffice it to say that once Elijah was finished, there was no doubt whatsoever that the Lord was the one true God.
The sacrifice was one fantastic part of the story, but what happened next was equally amazing. Elijah climbed a mountain and prayed earnestly to God for rain. He sent a scout seven times to check the sky for clouds, and finally, a small cloud began to take shape in the sky. That measly little cloud quickly grew and became a torrential downpour on the thirsty land – God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer.
Are there things that you have been praying about for what feels like ages, and it seems like God hasn’t answered yet? Keep the faith, dear ones! Like Elijah, keep your eyes on the Lord and seek him earnestly with all of your heart.
What comes to mind when you think of summer? Even as blazing hot as it is, I still think of the great outdoors—especially anything having to do with water. I spent my summers on swim team and love the water! Playing in sprinklers and drinking straight from the hose, swimming in the lake and pool, collecting shells and rocks at the beach, going canoeing at church camp, having water balloon and squirt gun wars … there are so many fun things to do outside.
There is something about being in and around water that is so soothing, so inviting, so relaxing. Watching waves on the beach or listening to nature sounds at the lake seems to slow down time and re-center our perspectives.
And yet, water can also be unsettling … to the Gulf Coast resident bracing for another hurricane … to the adult at the pool party who never learned to swim … to the tent cities in Haiti during the rainy season.
I’ve often heard that even the poorest in America are far richer than the poor in many other places of the world. It is hard to fathom, but let’s try to think about it. I wouldn’t particularly want to bathe in Lake Waco or the Bosque or Brazos Rivers, but any of those options would be better than a sewage-laden, stagnant gutter. If worse came to worst, I could walk into just about any public building around town and take a non-toxic, free drink from the nearest water fountain. When I turn on the faucets in my house, I expect clear water to come pouring out. We may be under drought conditions, but we still have washing machines, dishwashers, sprinklers, bottled water and swimming pools accessible to us. None of us will die of thirst tomorrow.
Yet, some others will.
So, as you head to the lake/pool/river to celebrate during this holiday weekend, let’s turn our hearts to God in thanksgiving for the blessings of our freedom, to be certain, but also his creation. Take time to thank him for “little” things – like indoor plumbing and the fact that we can worship freely in church today – and lift up those who cannot.
Originally posted July 3, 2011