Some West Texas summers are brutal. During those times it isn’t uncommon to step out and see the dry, crusty land open up in large cracks in thirsty pleading for water. Those months can be harsh, with temperatures rising, baking the hills that dot the countryside to a deeper than golden brown. Even creek beds, once singing the songs of trickling streams, now lie silent. Unlike much of the weather we experience, lack of rain, can last more than just the summer months, and more than just one summer. It usually is a more gradual thing, slowly taking a hold on an area, tightening its grip and wrenches life giving moisture from the earth. Vegetation becomes dry and crunchy – good fodder for hungry wild fires. A creeping demon. Clouds obscure the sun for days, rumbling and promising relief; yet withholding their tears, and all of earth suffers.
WHEN comes the rain? Pressure builds. Clouds veil the sun. Storms may arise. THEN comes the rain. It is all very natural. It is the way built up pressure is released. Earth is relieved as it swallows up the life-giving drink. It is good, very good. But rain can be messy and inconvenient.
Our lives are not a lot unlike the parched grounds of West Texas during a drought. Spiritual life, like drought and rain, can be unpredictable. There are times when things seem very good and we begin to feel like we have things sorted out and we begin to understand. Our faith is increasing and we feel that we have accumulated, to some degree, what it takes to face the storms that may come. The winds change. Faith and trust are dried up by the continuing winds of doubt and fear, and the raging fires of despair sweep through us, burning away what we thought we had.
Pressure builds up and clouds begin to form obscuring the Son. They may rumble and threaten longer than we are willing to wait. But we wait and we search. The Son reappears, the tears come and we drink from the life-giving stream dispelling our spiritual drought.