The first real rain for the second half of
the year has fallen at last! People have been bemoaning the
rain since last Sunday in a joking fashion, myself included,
for the puddles it creates and getting wet as we race around
outside. Under the cover of this mock complaint, we breathe
an inward and outward sigh of relief. We say a silent "thanks"
for the end of the dry times and season.
Elijah, an Old Testament prophet has been
on my mind for a while in this context. He arrives on the
scene in the history of God's people, the Israelites, at a
time when there is little regard for God. Everyone in the
nation has put their relationship with God on the back burner
and many are not living an active life of faith. Elijah's
first message on God's behalf is to tell the King of the times,
Ahab by name, that God is going to cause a drought that will
last for two or three years. (And we think a few months has
been hard!) Having made this proclamation, God sends Elijah
'walkabout" and he is incommunicado for over two years.
The 'kicker' is that Elijah is the only one with authority,
in God's hearing, to break the drought. Read the history for
yourself in 1 Kings 16:29 to the end of chapter 18.
When Elijah returns to public life, people
are desperate as you can imagine. They need rain. Elijah shows
that God is truly the one who can supply the people with their
physical and more importantly, their spiritual needs as well.
What started the drought in the first place was people looking
for alternate religion (Idolatry). On this occasion, God demonstrates
his people's inner condition by paralleling it in their physical
I don't say that God has brought the dry times
on our community. We are told in the words of Jesus himself,
who is God, in Matthew 5: 45:
"God makes His sun to shine on the
just and the unjust alike, and He gives rain to those who
do what is good and what is evil."
God works with us in His mercy today because
of Jesus' work on the cross for us. The reminder of a time
of drought may still be useful to us today to
ask the questions:
- Are we acknowledging that God is the giver
of all good gifts?
- Are we 'coasting' in our relationship with
God, or allowing hurts within the community to spoil our
personal worship life as we absent ourselves from regular
- Have we grown cold in our love for God
and made other things or activities our modern day idols?
God has refreshed our locale with rain again,
giving us cause to thank Him. The green that is returning
to the countryside is a reminder of the life God desires us
to experience in Him - a life of newness and personal growth
I'd simply like to leave you with the thought
from St Augustine who said in his prayer: "You have made
us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until
they find their rest in you." May we all find rest in
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Greg Vangsness