Well, it seems that the Midwest is experiencing a drought.
This is not good news for the farmers, and anything that’s bad news for the farmers is bad news for the rest of us. But don’t be too discouraged. We have a God who can control the weather. Mark 4:35-41 tells the story of Jesus who amazed his disciples by showing authority over a storm and saving their lives at sea. Now, many of you may be thinking, “I’d rather God didn’t calm the storms right now. If anything I wish he’d send them.” Good point.
Let’s turn instead to 1 Kings 18 where God again showed his power over nature by first sending a drought, and then miraculously providing rain through the prophet Elijah. That’s more like it, right? Well, it becomes sobering when we realize that God first sent the drought because of Israel’s lack of faith and loyalty to himself. God mightily used the lack of rain and the recovery of rain to teach the Israelites an important lesson about his power, sincerity, and mercy. So the question we should be asking ourselves is what does God want me to learn from the drought today?
I think one great lesson is found in a quaint story about yet another drought some years ago. The story goes like this: a host of local farmers decided to hold a prayer meeting to ask God to send rain for the crops. They were in a similar situation as the one today, and it was extremely important for the sake of the crops that they get rain soon. The night of the prayer meeting came, and the pastor watched as the farmers marched into the church building. He also noticed a little girl. Of the hundreds of farmers and their wives, this little girl was the only one who brought with her an umbrella. Now, who do you suppose had faith that God would answer their prayers?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 17 that if we have faith as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. The problem is, many times we don’t even have that kind of faith. Let’s remember the little girl who brought her umbrella because she believed that God could and would answer their prayers. Let’s exercise a faith that not only believes, but acts upon that belief.
“And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain” – 1 Kings 18:45a (ESV)
“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:19-20 (ESV)