(February 17, 2017) Harold Harvey encourages keeping a good relationship with God and avoid (or overcome) spiritual droughts…
I remember learning in primary school Dorothy McKellar’s poem about Australia. The first verse goes –
‘I love a sunburnt country
A land of sweeping plains
Of ragged mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains.’
Australians are familiar with droughts and the hardships that go with it
There is little or no water to quench the thirst of livestock, pastures become sparse and stock are hand-fed, the hay stocks are soon used up and livestock are sold off cheaply to the slaughter houses rather than allowing them to die. Many of the stock do die of thirst and starvation while farmers have the unenviable task of shooting the starving creatures that are already dying an agonising death because there is no food for them.
When there is no rain, crops suffer to the extent that there can be no harvests. When no rain and summer heat combine, the bush becomes tinder dry, increasing the risk of devastating bushfires (wild fires). Banks foreclose on small family farms that can’t hold their heads above water, and farms are sold off at less than true value – sometimes at less than what is still owed on them.
City folks are also affected. While there might be cheaper meat on the table for a while, it soon becomes apparent that if the farmers are affected so too is the rest of the country. Export trade is negatively affected. Money, normally flowing in from the country to the cities dries up and soon everybody is affected. Everybody in a country affected by drought feels the pinch.
Spiritually, people can go through a drought too
Sometimes spiritual droughts are brought about by God and sometimes by people themselves. The allusion to drought is mentioned by Isaiah and Jeremiah when prophesying against a backslidden nation that had turned its back on God and, as a consequence, found itself bereft of God’s blessing.
The sort of drought brought about by God is an intentional act by him in order to bring a reality check to those who displease him by sin and disobedience. Though believing in God, one can go through a spiritual drought. This may occur through failing to keep up a good relationship with God…
- Worship wanes
- Prayer and Bible reading goes by the board
- Fellowship with God’s people decreases
- A feeling of spiritual dryness is felt and
- A sense of the lack of vital communion with God becomes apparent.
But droughts don’t last forever
They come to an end when conditions become normal again!
Many times the prophets of old had to preach repentance to the nation of Israel. While the nation was ‘backslidden,’ the nation was in disarray, defeated and sometimes in captivity to their enemies. At such times, the nation’s state of affairs could really be likened to a drought.
But when the nation genuinely repented and put matters right, turning to the Lord wholeheartedly, the fortunes of the people of Israel changed dramatically. Israel once again was delivered from its enemies and the nation prospered. The ‘drought’ had been broken!
Just as the nation of Israel once again enjoyed the blessing of God when the nation had truly repented of its backsliding, so too can we expect the ‘drought’ to be over, as was the case with ancient Israel. We can expect to receive the blessing of the waters of God to break the ‘drought.’
Many times David felt as though he was deserted by God and was, as it were, in a period of drought. Many of the psalms reflect his dry spiritual times but then at last, as he continued with his faith in God, the refreshing rains of God’s blessings came to him and the drought was over.
During these times of spiritual drought, let us continue to let God guide us through the drought period.
Look at the promise that Isaiah the prophet leaves for us – ‘And the Lord will guide you continually, satisfy your soul in dry places (tsachtsachah – drought), make your bones strong; you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, waters don’t fail’ (Isaiah 58:11).
Harold Harvey, Koongamia, WA, has ministered in Foursquare Church and Christian Revival Crusade churches and is currently a minister in the Australian Christian Churches. Now retired – though not believing in ministerial retirement – he continues ministry with weekly write-ups (Beams of Light), link: firstname.lastname@example.org