Let the Rain Fall Down!

“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” -Hosea 6:3 (NIV)

While I was working at a summer camp in western Ontario, we once had three consecutive days of unbearable heat. The moment we stepped out of our cabins, it would feel like we stepped into a desert! Compounding this was the fact that the campground, although quite beautiful, was also quite large. It required a lot of walking to get from one point to the other. One can imagine how exhausting it must have been to do camp activities under such circumstances. I could see on the sweaty and fatigued faces of child and counselor alike that we all hoped for rain. When it came the next day however, all of us greeted God’s provision with jubilation and ecstasy. Regular activities were brought to a halt as everyone allowed the cooling rains to soak every bone in their bodies. We even brought out small cups to collect raindrops and throw them on each other! Although naturally I caught a cold after our adventure in the rain, it was completely worth it!

We all go through times where our situations seem too difficult to bear. Hoping to find deliverance, we look in many places, only to find that they can bring only temporary relief. Such faulty remedies do not adequately deal with our situations and leave us in our despair. At other times, in order to escape the heat of our circumstances, we look for shelter. Thinking that we have found where we need to be, we don’t realize that the shelter we have chosen is ready to come crashing down on us at any moment. When that time comes, we are left destitute and broken. But God promises in His word that He will bring relief and provision to those who call upon His name and acknowledge Him. Like the refreshing rains, He will bring peace and restoration for the parched soul. The once previously barren gardens of our lives will flourish and teem with life. However, God gives us choices. We can choose to acknowledge Him or to reject Him. If we reject Him, we will have to go through this life on our own; trusting our limited wisdom and wandering through the desert of our circumstances chasing one unfulfilling mirage after another. But if we choose Christ and are in complete dependence on Him, He will be faithful in His promises to provide for those who call upon Him and we will rest in the assurance that He is always faithful.

Being Renewed in Strength

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” -Psalm 34:10 (NIV)

I am unable to count the number of times I have seen nature documentaries featuring lions. But every time I happen to watch such documentaries, I am always amazed by how they portray the lion’s power and might. With the way they hunt and chase down their prey, it is no wonder they are often associated with the label, “king of the jungle.” In fact, it should come as no surprise that with its regal appearance and strength, the lion has been adopted as a symbol for many kings and empires. However, even lions can grow hungry and lose their vigor. A weakened lion may not even pursue a nearby gazelle if he is sapped of his energy and his legs cannot give chase.

Sometimes we may feel as if we are in the same position. Weary of everything around us we sink into fatalistic hopelessness. Though we reminisce of those days where everything seemed to be going our way, we resign ourselves to a false view that we are powerless and have been defeated. But the wonderful truth is that in our weakness, Christ is able to make us strong. When we have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts and seek after Him, He will renew and restore us. When our situations wear us down, we are able to take hope in the promise that we are able to surrender our burdens to the One who holds the universe in place, and whose grace is more than sufficient for us. By entrusting ourselves into His hands, He will prove Himself to be faithful; giving us His strength so that we may find total fulfillment in His provision. In Christ we have victory, a victory that can never be taken away nor can ever be eclipsed, for nothing will be able to stand against Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

An Undisturbed Peace

“And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” -2 Kings 6:17 (NIV)

The king of Israel was at war with the king of Aram. As the conflict between them raged on, news reached the king of Aram that the prophet Elisha was giving away their positions to the king of Israel. Naturally the king of Aram was not amused and ordered his army to encircle the city of Dothan where Elisha was staying. When Elisha’s servant awoke that morning, he was horrified. Surrounded by soldiers on every side he felt that the hour of their death had come. Terrified he asked Elisha what they should do. Yet in stark contrast to his servant, Elisha remained calm and composed. He knew that victory would be theirs. Wanting to put his servant’s mind at ease, Elisha prayed that God would allow his servant to see what he sees. What the eyes of his servant saw was the army of God ready to overwhelm their enemies. Striking the soldiers with blindness they became disoriented and God delivered the army of Aram into the hands of the king of Israel.

When we find ourselves in unpleasant situations, what is our first reaction? Most of us would react in a manner similar to Elisha’s servant. Worried and afraid we look at the bleakness of our circumstances and ask ourselves how we will ever get through this in one piece. In these moments we wonder where God is. But the truth is that He is there with us in every situation. He has promised to never leave nor forsake those who call upon His name, and to stand by those who acknowledge Him with their hearts. The question is do we see Him? Are our eyes opened to His constant presence and loving hand in our lives? That was why Elisha was able to remain in undisturbed calm and confidence despite the seemingly hopeless situation around him. His eyes were opened to the reality that God was in their midst, and with Him as their defender, their deliverance is assured. Are we looking for peace? That unshakable peace which will never depart from us even in the midst of trying circumstances? When we allow the Spirit of Christ to reside in our hearts He will open our eyes to His omnipresence and faithfulness. We will find hope and serenity knowing that we are in His hands and that He works all things together for His good and perfect will for our lives.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.