Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hot, Dry Seasons

Southeast Texas summers can get pretty brutal. With temperatures hovering around 100 and little rain in the forecast, it can seem a little unbearable at times. Any cloud in the sky is a welcome one and one with rain potential is a sight for sore eyes. Usually as we head into August, we begin longing for that first cool front that is at least 6 to 8 weeks away. In the meantime, A/Cs are cranked and pools, and water sprinklers, are used to bring a bit of relief.

Have you ever found yourself in that kind of place spiritually? A dry and weary place with no relief in sight? A place where God seems a million miles away and your prayers seem to be bouncing off the ceiling? You're not alone. We all find ourselves in those seasons from time to time. We all find ourselves at times in a dry season longing for a spiritual deluge from heaven. Day after day goes by and with it comes no rain, and no relief. In the middle of seasons like this we can feel alone, and as if God has abandoned us.

It is so important that we not allow our feelings or our emotions get the best of us here. I love to read the Psalms that David wrote when he found himself in a season like this. They each seem to hold within it a journey from hopelessness to hope. The psalms at some point seem to get so dark and hopeless, but always give way to the hope he has in God. His soul would become vexed, but through it all, when he focussed his eyes on God, the season seemed endurable. In the middle of times like this, we want to give into our feelings and our emotions. Those who live "emotionally driven" lives though will often miss out on some pretty remarkable things that God has in store for us.

Our feelings and emotions can really lead us astray. Let me give you an example. A couple weeks ago I went to see "Journey To The Center Of The Earth." Now, it is nowhere near my top 10 movies of all time, but I saw it in 3D and really got a kick out of it. At one point there are these wicked looking fish that are jumping out of the water and some of them look like they are jumping right into your face. I actually screamed out and moved to avoid one fish that appeared it was going to eat me for lunch. Here's the point. I knew that I was more than a 100 feet away from the screen. I knew there was no way that creatures could fly off the screen and attack me. However, my eyes told me different and my body reacted to how I felt not what I knew.

Here's the truth. In the life of David, there was always hope for him in God. Regardless of how he felt, God was always his strength and refuge in time of need. Sure, things got crazy from time to time, but God was and is always God. That holds true for us as well. When you feel like you're in the middle of one of those dry seasons, remember, God is always there. Regardless of what we feel, he never abandons us. He never, ever leaves us.

Here in southeast Texas, we understand what summer brings with it. We also understand that come late September, we can look forward to the prospect of a cool front carrying with it some long awaited relief. In the same way, during the course of our life, there are seasons that none of us look forward to. But in the middle of those seasons, we must understand, that relief and refreshing are on their way. And regardless of how we feel, God is with us. He's always with us. Look for him. Trust me, He's still God in the middle of that dry season you find yourself in. While you are waiting for that season to come to an end, if you'll search for Him you'll find refreshment in the middle of it all. In Texas we long for that first cool front, but until it gets here, there's always the swimming pool. When you find yourself in a dry season in life, and you're looking forward to that season coming to an end, always remember if you just look for God, finding Him is like that refreshing jump in the pool during the hot summer months.

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