Monday, May 21, 2012

Waiting for rain

Last week I posted a blog about God's provison. It was based on a sermon series our church is doing called "running on empty" based on the life of Elijah. I would encourage you to check it out, but if you don't have time, here are the high points.

- God tells Elijah, this guy from the middle of nowhere, to go tell the king that they are about to face a big old drought.

- God then tells Elijah to run and hide by a brook, where God sends him daily breakfast and dinner via a raven.

- The brook dries up.

It is no secret to any of you who know our family, follow us on FB, or read this blog that our family has been in a drought. It started with medical problems, then financial difficulties, topped off with family health problems. We have been in the drought for what seems like a very long time. But looking back, we can honestly say that God has continued to provide for us, day by day. We get enough in the morning to make it through the day. And we have become completely reliant on God to give us enough for tomorrow. 

And every time we feel like we can't take another step, God sends enough.

Today, the brook dried up.

Richie's grandparents have been in and out of the hospital for the last several years. It seems that when one gets healthy, another gets sick. In the last two weeks, both grandfathers have been in the hospital.  Today, the journey ended for one of his grandfathers.  His dad's dad (well, really his stepdad, but the man who raised him) ended his journey through this life and moved to his journey through eternity.

Losing a family member at any time is difficult, but when you are already completely drained, worn out, and just plain weary, it is unbearable.  It is looking at that little brook, your only source of refreshment and the only small hope you have for survival, and watching it dry up in front of your eyes. Praying for rain and finding only dust.

That is exactly how I felt when I got the news of Richie's grandpa's passing. Inside I was screaming at God, "How does this make any sense? How is this fair? We just got a report that he was out of the woods and you take him.  Can't you give us just a little break? Where are you, because if you were here you would know we are desperate. We are angry. We are barely making it. We are scared. We are thirsty and the brook is dry."

Where is the rain? 

I didn't hear a James Earl Jonesish voice (what I imagine God's voice to sound like) telling me it was all going to be okay. In fact if I knew anything for certain, it was that things were not going to be okay.

But when I stopped yelling at God, I was reminded of that same story of Elijah. When his brook dried up, God told him, it was time to move.

As I looked at our metaphorical dried up brook, I got the same answer. It was time to move. Not literally (who would buy our house with all the crazy construction going on behind it). But time to move out of the season where we wondered *if* God would provide for us every day to a place where we *know* He will.

Time for us to move from a place where we feel angry and resentful for what we have lost to a place where we feel blessed for what we have.

Time for us to move to a place where we not only tell our kids that God will provide, but where *we* believe it.

It isn't going to be an easy move. Moving is never easy. When Elijah moved from his brook he faced a hundred mile walk through enemy territory. I imagine our journey will be similar.

It doesn't mean we won't mourn the loss of loved ones or stop praying for miraculous healings.

It means that even in the midst of loss and sickness, we believe God is still good. It means we believe that even though today is hot, dusty, and dry, tomorrow it just might rain.

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