It has been very dry here lately. So dry, in fact, that any rain we do get is sucked up by the ground in a matter of minutes, and gives us no relief from the billowing dust clouds produced by the traffic on our dirt road. On a side note, we don't just have dirt on our dirt road - much of the traffic is actually cattle, horses, pigs, dogs and chickens - so when it's dusty, it's also a little more than dusty, if you get my drift.
Dry. Hot. Dusty.
Hot. Dusty. Dry.
Dusty. Dry. Hot.
Any way you slice it, we need some rain! Not only to keep the, ahem, dust down, but also to water my shriveling little garden. I have a feeling that when the seed packet said to plant my vegetables in full sun, they weren't talking about 12 degrees from the equator full sun.
You say..."Heather, just water them yourself, silly girl." And to that I say, "This month alone the water has been out of service for at least 10 days." I have resorted to using old rain water we caught in a bucket to keep things alive, but it's just not the same as fresh water; I think the plants can tell the difference.
I was outside trying to water everything with a bucket and a repurposed yogurt container, and I thought, "I should prepare for rain," Then somewhere deep in the cobwebs of my mind I remembered a story in the Old Testament about a drought, 2 Kings chapter 3. The prophet Elisha was told to go out and dig ditches, and that they would be filled with water. So in the blazing hot sun, covered in dust from the road, I dug some ditches. I carved out little channels for the water to flow throughout my garden, taking care not to disturb the shriveling plants. They needed water, but too much and they could drown or get washed away.
Now in the 2 Kings, there was no rain. God filled the ditches without using natural means. Everyone woke up the next day and the ditches were filled with water. That's not exactly how it went for me. About 2am we woke up to thunder and lightening and ... RAIN! Lots and lots of rain...the thunder was so loud and the lightening was so bright that it scared me at times. The rain was so heavy that I had to go check on the baby because I wouldn't have been able to hear him crying over the deluge.
Then I heard Mark say, "Why did you have to dig those ditches?!" And my reply was, "He told me to."
I am not exactly sure how to process all of that. I know that God is faithful to his word. I know that we should be obedient to him even when he asks us to do something that takes a lot of work and may seem a little silly at the time. I know that although his presence is refreshing it can be a little scary too - He is the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, and deserves the reverence that comes with that.
Are there areas in your life where you need to dig some ditches? Do you need to be obedient even though what he asks of you requires you to get personally invested? Are you too worried about what other people will think of you? We should be challenged by Elisha's story, but also encouraged by God's faithfulness.