After 7 weeks in freezing cold Arctic UK, we are back in beautiful Philippines. It feels as if we have stepped from the freezer into the oven but we are glad to say that the searing temperatures we came back to a fortnight ago have dropped. In fact, we have had the first rain for 6 months here in Santiago and all of a sudden the horrible yellow dusty colour of our grass has turned lush green.
It made me realise that we need constant spiritual refreshing in our lives.
It is so easy to become dry and arid ... so easy to let the 'cares of this world' take away the life of God in us. When we are dry and brittle it is not a good sight and is certainly not pleasing to the eye. When we go through difficult times - wilderness times - our attitude and our spirit can often be negative and so lethargic.
But what a difference the rain makes. All of a sudden the yellow becomes green, the short becomes lush and the dead becomes alive. New life. New shoots. New energy. Sefton Village has become a paradise again ... all because of 3 days of rain! Wow. What a thought.
No matter how dry we are of how difficult a time we are having or how long we are in the wilderness for ... there is always refreshing with God! he can always supply a drink of cool water. He can always pull us through and pick us up. He can always shower us with good things. No matter how hard it gets ... we have a God who can bring us to places of rest and refreshing. Check out Psalm 23 and see how blessed we really are:
He is my shepherd
I will not live in want
He MAKES ME lie down
Where? In green, lush pastures ... places of plenty, much food and safety
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul. Again. Again. And Again.
He guides me in his ways
We need not fear death ... for He is with us
His rod to comfort us
His staff will lead us
He prepares a table for me.
Where? right slap bang in the middle of mine enemies!
And they cannot scare me, touch me or harm me!
Why? Because he anoints us with His spirit
Our cup of blessing constantly overflows!
Goodness and Mercy will CHASE after me ...
EVERY DAY that I live
And when it's all over here ...
it's just beginning in heaven
For I will dwell in His house ... forever
So whoever you are - a Filipino trying to make it through life, a Pastor trying to lead the church in the ways of God, a housewife in UK bringing up a family, a businessman in Singapore trying to survive recession ... let me tell you the great news today. Maybe you feel that life is yellow, arid, dry and dusty - but if you will stop for a while and reach out to God, his rain and refreshing is only a prayer away. No need just to survive ... you can thrive!
Listen to the promise of the Lord in Isaiah 44:3 (NLT)
A few showers will change your life!
Pastor Mark Ritchie