Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Praying For Rain Isn't The Answer

As a boy growing up in rolling plains of west Texas, I regularly drove 20 miles down dusty roads to hunt and fish. The average rainfall in my county was about 18 inches and most of it came in two or three huge gushes. Now I live in the middle of two forests, the Kisatchie and the Sabine, where annual rainfall amounts approach 60 inches. I've always loved these forests, but right now it's as dry as it ever was when I was a boy in Texas.

Getting to a hunting spot only takes me a few minutes now, but I had to pull over and let the truck I followed out the other night get far ahead. I couldn't see or breathe through the dust. So, we've been praying for rain, and this morning it did rain . . . but not enough to even wet the dust. And, for some reason, I thought, "We need more than that. We actually need more than rain." That may sound crazy. How can we need more than rain?

Well, there are times we pray for rain, when rain is not our answer. Sometimes we just need to stop driving so fast down the road, stirring up the dust.

Think of what God said, "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or sent pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:13-14)

Sometimes the dust in our lives is simply God trying to get our attention to the sin in our lives. There were those who went to John the Baptist to be baptized who he called a brood of vipers attempting to escape the fire. They were not coming to be baptized as a sign of repentance and change. They were just trying to make sure they had all their religious bases covered.

There was another time when people were looking for spiritual rain, and Peter, preaching, told them "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," (Acts 3:19) Often, the rain we long for in our life is not the answer, but rather the fruit.

So, where's the dust in your life?