Australia Creation Prayer Theology

Letter from Australia 75 – The End of (Spiritual) Drought?

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

New Year’s greetings from a wet and grey Sydney summer!  This feels so like a Scottish summer.  Not that many are complaining.  Last year at this time we were longing for rain to combat the bushfires and the drought.   Now after the wettest year here in two decades it is official – the drought is over!   We thank the Lord for answered prayer!

Coming from Scotland I am not used to the concept of too little rain!  But drought is a dreadful thing. This BBC clip of farmers in Northern NSW illustrates the problem.

 

Incidentally I find it interesting that the BBC were quite happy to see the drought here as evidence of man-made climate change and of course extensively reported on it – but of course there has been very little about the drought.  Bourke is an interesting place in this regard as well – in 1896 it had the hottest period ever recorded in NSW – ten days of 120 degrees temperatures.  But the Bureau of Meteorology does not count records from before 1910.  The 1890’s had a long period of drought called the Federation drought.  There have been other major droughts – World War 2 and more recently the Millennium drought.

Climate change is a complex subject – not as simple as the arguments made on either side or presented in the media – and I certainly don’t deny that it exists or that some of it is man made.  But what intrigues me is how quickly the land regenerates when the rains come.   Here is a clip from a couple of months ago.  This is lovely to watch…

 

 

And I love this photo from Russell Crowe about his estate in the north of NSW…The second photo is ten days after the rain came.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Drought

Important and serious as physical drought is, there is something worse – and that is spiritual.  This is true whether it is national, corporate, church or individual.  It has devastating effects. Spiritual dryness is soul destroying.   The Bible often speaks about both forms of drought.

Psalm. 63:1    You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;  I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

 in a dry and parched land

      where there is no water

 

Is. 49:10          They will neither hunger nor thirst,

                        nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.

            He who has compassion on them will guide them

                        and lead them beside springs of water.

 

Jesus speaks of a spiritual thirst which he has come to quench.  He

Matt. 5:6         Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled.

John 4:14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

He experienced a thirst on the cross that we will never – so that our thirst would be assuaged.

Whilst on this earth we will experience both kinds of drought, the new heavens and earth we will never again thirst.

Rev. 7:16         ‘Never again will they hunger;

                        never again will they thirst.

            The sun will not beat down on them,’

                        nor any scorching heat

The greatest need in our world today is that our spiritual thirst should be satisfied.   Sadly, the lack of spiritual life leads to such a debilitating condition that no longer hunger and thirst.  We are dry – and yet do not know it.

But there is such a wonderful invitation in the Scriptures:  “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost”  Isaiah 55:1

I love the farmer in the video who says that when the rain comes you forget about the years of drought.  That is true in a spiritual sense too. My prayer for you, for myself, for the church, for our countries is that the long spiritual drought many of us have experienced would be over and that we would know an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon us.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Yours in Christ

David

These are the two posts I wrote about the drought –

Premier -Sydney’s record rainfall is an amazing answer to prayer

A Mighty Downpour in Australia

Letter from Australia 74 – Five Preachers Who Feed My Soul

PS.  This is the reserve just down from our apartment.   Last year it was dry….today..!

2 comments

  1. Living in Scotland it can be difficult to appreciate what it can be like to live without rain. My one experience of this was spending 5 weeks in California one time, being delighted wiht the sun for the first few weeks then after a while getting bored wiht it. Then returning to Scotland in a downpour and loving it. My friends thought I was either crazy or that I was rubbing it in that had just spent 5 weeks in California. But it was a genuine joy!

    I can only imagine what it must be like to experience more extreme situations such as a drought.

    My mind goes to the “water of life”. No, don’t worry David – I’m not hitting the whisky ;). I’m thinking of the water that doesn’t run out that the woman at the well wanted, desired.

    And that being a metaphor for all needs being met in Christ. Of seeking first the kingdom and the rest being given of not needing to worry about food, clothes or if a vaccine is going to work and not have horrible side effects.

    While we long for the end of suffering it is important to be seeking as Jesus did, how the Father is at work and to choose to be involved in it. And that there can be purpose in suffering. Following Jesus is not about instant gratification but character development in order to endure when times are tough as well as to enjoy life when it is peachy. So we live in hope but we also trust that “all things work for good”.

    Mind you – maybe, just maybe there have been one or two occasions over the last year when I have had a good old rant at God and told him how to do his job haha.

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