One of the downsides of living on rural land is our reliance on tank water. When we run out, we run out, and unless we’ve had rain to fill our reserve tank, we need water deliveries to get us by until the weather is favourable again.
Following a dry winter and multiple water deliveries, we arrived home from a function recently only to turn on our taps to find, once again, no running water. Thankfully we had a small amount in our reserve tank from a recent rain shower, and our water delivery would only be a 48 hour wait. (This can feel like a long time with not much water and a house full of people!)
Within a few hours after the water had been delivered, the clouds opened up and we had the best rainfall we’ve had in months, filling our tank from partly full to mostly full—double the blessing!
Thanks to the blessing of rain, our sheep are now enjoying greener pastures, and everything has flourished and been refreshed!
Often in life, we can go through times of dryness and barrenness. During those times, it’s difficult to see that there will ever be a ‘break in the weather’. We watch as the green grass turns brown, the flowers fade away, and the colours seem to disappear.
But one thing we can be assured of is that, just like the changing of weather with each season, so too the circumstances in our lives are sure to change.
I remember going through a very difficult time years ago that seemed to continue forever. The verse, ‘weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comesinthemorning’ (Psalm chapter 30 verse 5) stayed with me and became a verse I held very close to my heart.
I remember thinking that one day I would want to go back to my past self and tell myself of all the promises that would be fulfilled. Casting my mind forward like that helped me see beyond the wilderness I was in and gave me hope.
Sure enough, God was faithful, and I am seeing His promises in my life being fulfilled. I also know that the wilderness was a training ground, growing my muscles of endurance to be able to withstand the challenges that we face today.
In ways that only God knows how, He will take our weaknesses, prune us, grow us, and create stronger branches that bear fruit and create shelter for others. God will always make a way through our wilderness and sometimes it may come from the most unlikely places.
In Ezekiel chapter 17, God gives a word and says,
“I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.” (verse 22)
The topmost shoots of a tree are generally very small and twiglike. They are held up by the tree and its branches, and though unlikely to be thought of as strong, they take the brunt of the weather, building up resilience to survive the harsh conditions.
“On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.”(verse 23)
In this replanting, the small shoot is given new life and grows strong branches to bear fruit and to give refreshment to others. The so-called drought in the lives of many who are feeling stagnant, is not for nothing, ‘for you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.’(1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 58)
It is, however, the training ground, the growing place, the strong foundation where fruit will be grown that will be sweet to the taste and used to edify and strengthen those around you. You will be able to withstand the storms because your roots will spread deep into the nourishing soil you have been planted in, creating sturdiness.
When you least expect it
So, when you think the land is barren and there is no hope, know that there is a rain cloud coming to pour water upon the earth, nourishing it, soaking it, and restoring life back into it. Green shoots will begin to sprout through the once dry ground, and trees and flowers will begin to grow. Livestock will find new strength and the trees of the field will seem to be clapping their hands.
‘Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.’
(2 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 10-11)
Despite what we see happening in the world, there is new birth, new hope, a breath of God upon the earth, a breath that wakes up its sleepers, that opens the eyes of the blind, that opens deaf ears giving hope and life to those who have been in the wilderness. Those who are wise are awake to it. Those who receive it, are revived by it.
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians chapter 5 verse 14)
Rebecca and her husband have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca writes for various publications including print, online and commercial. She is the author of two books: ‘First to Forty’ and ‘Pizza and Choir’. For more information you can find Rebecca at: http://www.rebeccamoore.life, Facebook: Rebecca Moore - Author, Instagram: rebeccamoore_author
Rebecca Moore's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/rebecca-moore.html