It has been a hot and dry year so far in Minnesota. It wasn’t that long ago farmers could hardly get into the fields to plant their crops because it was raining all the time and I was mowing my lawn as much as twice a week.
This year things are definitely different. We always have at least one or more dry spells every year but this year it seems like we’ve been dry ever since the snow melted. And apparently there are many parts of the country with the same problem.
A lack of rain reminds us of how little control we have over our lives. We turn to God for assurance that he is in control and knows what’s best for us.
My favorite rain-related verses of the Bible are from Isaiah 55:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Rain and snow do not evaporate into the sky until they accomplish their job of watering the earth, causing it to bring forth and sprout. Our entire food supply is dependent this wonderful water cycle so when things dry up God’s gets our attention in a hurry.
In the same way, God’s holy Word goes through a “cycle.” God’s sends out his Word through his ministers and that Word accomplishes what God purposes and succeeds in that for which God sends it. Our entire faith is dependent on the cycle of God sending out his Word through his ministers so that it can accomplish his purpose. And elsewhere in the Bible God reveals to us what his purpose is:
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The reason we can be confident that God will give us the right amount of moisture to supply us with food is because he has already given us his only Son, Jesus, who died for us on the cross and rose from the dead to bring us eternal life.
We can also have confidence in the promise that God gave to Noah after the great, worldwide flood:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
Just as the earth produces food in response to moisture, when the Good News about Jesus is proclaimed, fruit is produced. Jesus explains it this way in one of his parables:
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15)
The most God-pleasing fruit is simple thanks and praise to the Lord, grateful acknowledgment that all we have for this life and the life to come, is from our gracious heavenly Father. Since God already has all he needs, the other way we bear fruit is by serving our neighbors in helping to supply the things that they need.
The hot and dry conditions we are experiencing could change very quickly, maybe by the time you read this. One big thunderstorm could erase our rainfall deficit very quickly. When we are dry spiritually, we turn to God’s holy word for the assurance that he loves us and will always provide what is best for us.