Leaning on these words today. Grasping really. Clinging to the hope they bring because: Rain is coming.
Being in a complete desert for 5 years is exhausting. Perhaps the drought has at times been self-induced... very self-induced... but then sometimes, we just live in a fallen world and droughts, and all the devastating hardships they bring with them, are simply inevitable.
But FIVE YEARS?
I can't even imagine 40. That's just beyond comprehension for me and pray ... BEG this drought will not last 35 more.
My parents and I do a Bible study every summer (well at least, we have done a bible study together now for the last 3 years...) and I just love it. I love the idea of studying God's Word together as a family. I can't wait for the day when my entire family will join in. May it be so, Lord!
Anyway, as much as I loved studying with them this summer, I totally flaked out on it! I was in it for 3 solid weeks, then the last 3 or so weeks of it, I don't even know what happened! So weird because the material was so good and readily applied to daily life... but I flaked.
So here we are, weeks after the study was supposed to be over, and I finally watched the last 2 videos by myself. God's timing in the midst of my flakiness just awes me though. Maybe there's more to it than just our flakiness. The God of the universe will use anything to get our attention in His time I guess! And this reminder: Rain is coming, could not be more timely.
In my little kindergarten class, we had a unit this past week on "All About Me." This unit is always so fun because the kids are at the age where they are really becoming aware of who they are, their family, and their environment. I gave my students their first take home project I called, "All about My Name." They were supposed to research different aspects of their name, like how many letters and syllables it has, its meaning, and why their parents picked that name. I modeled this project for them using my own first name: Stephanie. As a kid, I never really cared for my name. It kinda sounds twangy, very 80s, and while it was super popular in 1982 (I graduated high school with about 5 other Stephanies that I can distinctly remember), let's be real: no one names their kid Stephanie anymore!
As an adult, my name has kinda grown on me though. There's this man named Stephen in the Bible. And he died for his belief in Jesus and in fact, was the first known martyr for Him. Even more, the Bible says Jesus STOOD UP from His throne when that happened. Whoa. Ok, sharing a name with someone like that, that's pretty cool. Not that I was named after him. My parents actually 'found' my name when looking at the names of the ballerinas in a playbill of a ballet they attended while pregnant with me. I love that my name is shared with someone as beautiful and graceful as a ballerina and another as strong and mighty as a martyr for Jesus.
Further still, the meaning of Stephanie: crowned with victory - those words could not be more beautiful to me. As I shared the meaning of my first name with my class this week, the drop from Heaven I felt was unmistakable. As if Heaven Himself hugged me for a moment, giving the approving nod of this promise: rain is coming. I will be crowned with victory. Mercy DOES triumph.
As we wait out our time in the desert, let's not give in to the grumblings of our heart and mind. Let's certainly not give up and quit this race. Let's promise to look for that one small cloud in the sky. Even if we have to look 7 times or 70 times before it appears. Just remember, with that small cloud: Rain is coming.
"After a long time, in the third year..... ... the famine was severe in Samaria.... And Elijah said to Ahab, 'Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.' So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 'Go and look toward the sea,' he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 'There is nothing there,' he said. Seven times Elijah said, 'Go back.' The seventh time the servant report, 'A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea.' ... Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling..." 1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-45