James 5:7-8 “…Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.”
As sweetheart and I took a motorcycle ride around the Lake Corpus Christi area, the evidence of a year long drought greeted us at every turn. Boat docks hung suspended over grassy meadows like freakish pieces of modern art. The lake usually covers over twenty thousand acres yet is only at fifty percent capacity. I imagine it will take some serious amounts of rain to bring it back to normal.
It occurred to me that our lives are often like this lake. We go through periods where we feel that our lives are empty. That the well has gone dry, leaving us unable to get our own water, much less have water for someone else. We wonder why God has abandoned us to such a fate as this.
We stand at the shoreline of what was once a life full of hope and promise, brimming with potential, a list of activities available for our every moment. We have built our dream home there with a view from window that rivals anything we have ever seen. Our back deck is full of friends, eager to partake in the fun of our lives. We smile and nod when people tell us how lucky we are to live at the edge of such a beautiful lake. It couldn’t get any better than this.
But then the rain stops falling. The water begins to recede. The shoreline is far from our deck, leaving our boat in dry storage, our friends making other plans, our view a pitiful version of what once was. We watch the sky every day, wondering why God is holding back the rain. Why He is making what was once our dream life a nightmare. We even become angry, raging at the unfairness of it all.
Today I was reading The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker. In it, there is a line by Tony that says “Sometimes life looks bleak, especially when we think we know what tomorrow will bring. The reality is that we don’t know, either for better or for worse. Tomorrow is but a fog. Not panicking, but instead letting God work things out isn’t a bad thing. We’re aware of the situation, but our faith is in God, not in what we can do to work it out.”
I read some reviews of the area by people who had moved away, angry that the lake had dried up, spoiling their view, ruining their plans. Yes, it is not as pretty as it once was. But one day the rain will come, filling the lake back up. Boats will ply the waters, children will laugh and swim, friends will laugh on decks, enjoying the sunsets. God calls us to be patient in the dry times, letting Him take care of the details.
How often do I get angry because I think God took away the view I had so carefully arranged for my life? How often do I forget that I am a guest here on this lake? That it’s not my house, not my boat, not my deck. When I stop my whining, stop my complaining, stop my selfish behavior and look out at the view, I will see that He has still given me beauty to admire in the waiting. Flowers bloom, birds sing, there is color where there once was grey. The land waits patiently for God’s Hand to touch it once again. I need to wait patiently as well.
Dearest Adonai, thank You for the insight You give us to see blessings in the times of our lives that seem so empty and dry. Thank You for showing us that it is only You who gets to plan the view. You have given us so much to see and do. Let us always remember to have faith in You. Give us wisdom and mercy as we go about our day. In the Glorious Name of Your Son, Christ Jesus, Amen