My years in farm country were filled with lessons from each changing season.
When rainy season came, it would rain for days. The rush of rain was heavy at times and the downpour loud. There would be damage where the streams of water made their way through the landscape, leaving deep furrows in their wake. The fields would be flooded, and working them became impossible.
What began in hope, with toil and labour in planting time and the fields looking promising for harvest, came to ruin in a night of nonstop downpour. A queer silence fell upon the land. The sky continued to carry heavy clouds overhead. The machinery idle, farm workers would have to stay indoors and wait, looking time and again for a sign of sunshine. The damage was counted and losses measured.
In our spiritual seasons from cradle to grave, we encounter such storms and sunshine that deepen our understanding of the meaning of life and living.
What can carry us through the trials that wash by us?
Happy are they that find a sanctuary in God in their times of hurt. Blessed are all who abide in the safety of our immovable God. "They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper." (Psalm 1:3 NRSV)
Psalm 121:1-2 – I lift up my eyes to the hills — from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (NRSV)
The unseen God who dwells in deep and high places is ever so close to our needs. To Him, losses and damage by the power of darkness are an open book, and from Him, nothing is hidden in secret.
God's love manifests itself to all who are heavy laden. Sensing help from beyond ourselves fills the void, and our spirit is lifted to things above. A calm peace surrounds the situation, and it is in us to surrender to the tangible presence of God whose voice we hear:
Isaiah 43:1b – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (NRSV)
Turning to God, we realize once again that all things are possible to God! Jesus' words, "Peace I give you", become real and create an uplifting presence in the midst of our darkest hours. Such hours bless us ever so much, as they draw us closer to the cross of Calvary, where Jesus suffered and died for the sins of the whole world, rising victoriously from the dead to live and reign as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Jesus did it all for our benefit. In Him, we have redemption, and we follow victoriously our Redeemer, listening to His voice — to His Word. He has defeated the worst that life can offer, so why should we be afraid?
Prayer: Dear God, You have not given up on us as we rightly deserve. Thank You for the storms that teach us and encourage us to trust You. Carry us to a deeper understanding of Your love for us and of life in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "As Pants The Hart For Cooling Streams" (Lyrics)