Yes, what an odd subject to talk about in a time when the drought is seemingly disappearing and we have gotten more snows than last year and already more spring rains. But the reality is, much of that is just enough to replenish the topsoil and make it appear as such, or maybe even completely improve some areas, but our country as a whole is still facing devastating drought in some areas.
Last year was tough year for many farmers and families across the country because of the drought impacts. The spring of 2012 began pretty dry without much snow to soak into the soil, and in general little rain was seen to continue replenishing crop or pasture land.
The effects are still being seen, as a smaller amount of certain types of crops was stored up and of course the cattle herd and other livestock were shrunk because farmers struggled to find food for them at a reasonable price. However, we have continued to see little impact on the cost of our food here in the U.S. up until now, so many people may not even realize there was a drought (that is if they didn’t hear so much about it from their local weatherman). Of course, this year we are starting with more snow cover and I know farmers are hoping their soils will be replenished with rains throughout the summer to sustain their growing crops and animals. But for some areas of the country, even the world, the drought is still ongoing.
Drought is ultimately defined as a period of dry weather, especially a long one that is injurious to crops, or an extended shortage. Synonyms include scarcity, lack, want, famine. When drought occurs across land, the soil lacks moisture and cannot adequately supply the water and nutrients plants need to grow, ultimately causing food shortages.
The same can happen in our spiritual journeys. Maybe we get a short time period of rain, replenishing our “topsoil” so to speak. But deep in our soul, we are still dry and lacking. Even our society can be affected by drought when we choose not to follow the Lord’s statutes and calling for our lives.
Recently, our Sunday School class lately has been studying Malachi.
In the Old Testament, drought among a nation is seen as a curse. For example, in Deuteronomy 28:
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:…The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.” -Deuteronomy 28:15, 24
And if you know the history between Esau and Jacob, you know that Edomites (Esau’s descendants) are seen as not aligning with the Lord or obeying His Words, thus they experience the Lord’s curses.
“‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have You loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ declares the Lord. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.'” -Malachi 1:2-3
It is an interesting passage, as the Lord describes their land as desolate. It demonstrates how a people, beginning with one man: Esau, have consistently rejected the Lord’s way for them and ultimately turned from the Lord’s statues. And because of their choices and condition of their hearts, suffer in a land that is dry, desolate and lacking. Now, it is important to note that they had times of success and resources, and even helped enemies destroy Judah. But in the Lord’s timing, they suffered for their constant disobedience to His will and for having a heart turned away from Him.
It is also important so that our own personal life is not dry and lacking, we keep a continual focus on the Lord, listening to Him, praying, being in His Word and obeying His calling.
“Thus says the LORD, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.'” -Jeremiah 17:5-8
Trust in the Lord. Look to Him for your strength. Continually turn to Him in all moments, feelings and situations of life. And seek to serve Him with a willing heart, doing good in His will. And seek to serve those around us with a heart full of God’s love.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galations 6:9