I’m sure most people have seen the pictures or vision this week of Prince Harry and Meghan sharing an umbrella in Dubbo. Ironically on the day they went out to Dubbo, in part to meet with and support those who have been impacted by the drought, it started to rain. I’m sure everyone who gathered for that BBQ in the park would have been rejoicing, not only to see the royals but more so at the much-needed rain falling around them. However, as we have heard, although the rain isn’t anywhere near enough to end the drought, I’m sure it did bring some hope.
In recent weeks we have seen our fair share of rain on the Gold Coast. The low-lying areas and wetlands at All Saints Anglican School turned into a lake again this week. As I’m writing this blog, the rain is falling outside my window. But the thing that has struck me most has been how green everything has become, and how quickly it has all turned around. While our part of Australia is doing so much better than others, in terms of rainfall, there has been a significant period of dryness which, I think has given us a greater appreciation for what other parts of our country must be going through.
This week, I led our ‘Big Questions’ group on the topic of the church calendar and began the session with the well-known passage from Ecclesiastes:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted… (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
When we look back over our lives we can identify seasons. There are times when we experience a rich harvest, but at other times we experience drought conditions and many other times in between. As Dale wrote in his blog last week, many people are struggling at the moment and are finding life so much harder than they expected. And if you are not struggling now, chances are there may be a season of struggle just around the corner.
How do we break the drought? What spiritual rainfall is needed in our lives?
In my experience people sometimes only need a little bit of hope to turn their season around, but for others it can be much harder to break. I do believe there are ways to break our spiritual droughts, although in saying that, I do know that we are all different and there is no universal panacea or one easy answer for everyone. The one thing that is constant for me is that the solution always involves more of God.
If you feel like you need a downpour of God in your life or know of someone close to you who could use a downpour, you are not alone. There are many others going through a similar season. As Prince Harry honestly shared with the people of Dubbo, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Other things I know of that are ‘rain producing’ are prayer, worship, reading the scriptures, reading spiritual books, listening to podcasts, listening to Christian music, or any music for that matter. But the best way I know is to stay close to where you know God is… God’s people. Our natural inclination in hard times is to withdraw but God wants us to come closer, and we benefit from remaining close to God when we are close to God’s people.
Please be assured that I do pray for you all, whether I know what you are going through or not. I believe my prayers matter and make a difference. This week I am praying that you are in, or not far away from, a season of real spiritual growth and that God will seem closer to you than ever before.