July 9 and still no rain.
Hot winds and soaring temperatures absorb any moisture that we pump from
the ground to water the parched land.
Flowers beds that are usually masses of blooms and color now only have a
few short and feeble blossoms despite my best efforts; however, those are of
little consequence when compared to the dwindling pasture that still looks as
brown and dry as it did 6 months earlier in the dead of winter leaving animals
to feed on dry grass from last summer and whatever hay can be purchased.
Here on the plains of the Texas Panhandle, we have seen and
weathered many dry seasons, but none have ever witnessed a drought of this
magnitude and there are those who are beginning to wonder if the Lord has
withheld the rain to punish the people.
Of course, it is evident from scripture that the Lord can and will withhold the rain from a rebellious and disobedient people, such as in Deuteronomy chapter 28 where the consequences for disobedience to the law are listed for the nation of Israel – including the withholding of rain. Deuteronomy 28:24, “The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust:..” That could certainly describe the dirt storms that we have experienced this year.
I was recently talking to friends about the drought and the remark was made, “I wish people would just wake up to the fact that God is punishing us and repent. I have to live
here too you know.”
Today as I sat quietly on the porch enjoying the early morning breeze, the Lord brought that conversation to mind and I was suddenly struck with the arrogance of my own thoughts as I had agreed with those sentiments. I have prayed for rain, but I have not humbled myself to beg forgiveness; to search for the sins within my own heart. My plea has been for our nation to wake up and return to the Lord, but I have not asked that my eyes be opened to my own sin.
Many quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a claim to the goodness of God to rescue his people, “If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
But are we really humble? As a body of believers, have we humbled ourselves or with an air of self righteousness, do we pray for the wickedness around us? Are we so busy blaming the splintered world around us that we have been blinded by the beams? What
hope is there for our land; for our nation, if God’s people do not humble themselves? It is true that wickedness rages around us, but it is God’s people who have been called to humility and repentance. Have we humbled our hearts before we pray for our land?