The local weather teams call it a “heat dome.” It has been placed squarely over the heads of Oklahomans and neighboring states for the past two months. We've experienced the hottest July in our state's history, and the record number of days over 100 degrees in one summer will soon be broken when we reach the 51st day. Farmers and ranchers are losing the battle against extreme drought conditions; firefighters race to catch flames chewing through dry, brittle fields of dead grass.
But we woke up last Thursday and Friday to the wonderful sounds of thunderstorms, complete with heavy, soaking rains and refreshing cool temperatures. Trees and shrubs reached toward the soothing drops of relief. Prayed-down showers brought renewal and comfort to the heartland.
How often do we wither under a dome of deprivation? Not a natural phenomenon over which we have no control, but a dry, barren place devoid of praise and worship. A place where our Bible sits idly by while we live like those caught in the drought of the century.
There’s an oasis waiting. It’s well-tended by the Holy Spirit. Rivers of living water search for souls, parched and in need of hope and peace. Like clouds on a rescue mission in a dry, blistering land, He waits to rain down on our weather-beaten lives. We only need to move from under the ceiling of doubt and sadness to dance beneath His falling drops of mercy. And listen to His whispers of love. When we choose to embrace our Heavenly Father and drink in all that He offers, the hovering layer of misery is lifted, and our spirit --- like the rain-soaked greenery --- is supple and prepared to receive more of His goodness.
“… I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
(Ephesians 3:14-19, NASB)