Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Drought of 2011

    The drought of 2011 has been long, hard and cold.  This year in most of New Mexico we have experienced the lack of moisture to the extent that many historical weather records have been broken.  We have been under many fire watches which have closed more and more recreation sites in the mountains until adequate rain brings relief to the barren land.  Along with the drought we have experience strong and unending winds. This is what some call the annual transfer of dust and sand from Arizona to Texas via New Mexico.  Ranchers will tell you that the wind isn’t really blowing unless there are “rocks” in the air. Now that’s a strong wind!
    We have a tendency to recognize those times of physical drought much quicker than we do spiritual drought.  Spiritual droughts are those times when the refreshing presence and power of our Lord seem to be especially absent.  It isn’t that our Lord has abandoned us because He said He would never do that.  It does mean that there is an absent of the sense of His presence with us.  Yes, we all face those times to one extent or another but there are those special seasons when the sense of the lack His presence in our lives seems to linger and linger until we become desperate and even anxious. 
    I was talking with someone about the affect of the “Dust Bowl Days” of American history which began in 1930 and lingered until 1936 and, for some areas, even until 1940.  The result was that thousands of people left the prairie’s and headed toward California and other areas of the country.  Many who tried to endure the blast of wind struggled and even died.  Con men took advantage of the situation and went from place to place trying to sell “rain seeds” and other ridiculous inventions that would bring a change in the weather.  Men, women, families and towns fell prey to the deception that man could control the weather.
    Spiritual drought brings the same type of reactions.  As the drought lengthens we can become more desperate and either try to escape to somewhere else, or are enticed by spiritual con artists into believing that they have power or spiritual mechanisms that will bring the refreshing relief of Christ’s presence and power.
    It is important therefore to understand that “drought happens!”  Nothing is done or allowed without the will and purpose of our Lord driving it.  Drought should have the following affects on those who are Christ-followers:

1.       It humbles us. It reminds us that we have no control over the circumstances in which we live though we can control how we respond to them.

2.       It grows our faith.  We trust that our loving Lord controls all the elements on earth and we trust Him to provide for our needs.

3.       It strengthens our obedience. Christ never told us to “get going when the going gets tough.” He called on us to endure and persevere in the midst of even the greatest storm.

4.       It helps us hold to His Word.  Jesus said “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” and we are to live in that promise.

5.       It gives us a testimony that will help others see Jesus in us and through us no matter how bad the drought is or the wind blows.

6.       It draws us to Him for comfort, assurance and strength. 

“I will be with you, even until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

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