Last week we were becoming a bit concerned. Though we are supposedly in a wet season, it wasn't so evident. Our red dirt was dry and hard. Our thirsty plants appeared to be shriveling up, and our water tanks were also devoid of the wet stuff. Yes, we had some rain - but little showers were not enough to quench this thirsty land.
Being a girl who hails from the Northwest, a place which hardly ever seems to lack rain, I never really thought I would be so desirous of those liquid drops.
We prayed, and we asked our friends across the ocean to pray for rain. And, God heard. The other night - it rained, no, it poured. For about 45 minutes straight, God opened the storehouses of heaven and softened our soil, watered our plants and filled basins, jericans and our water tanks! Hooray! We were so happy!
It is funny how dry, hot weather can make you so appreciative of rain!
I personally feel as if I have been going through a "desert time." My spiritual life has become hard like our soil was, my faith has been shrinking up, and my tank of energy and vision is becoming empty. But, I am learning that God works in the desert times, as much, if not more, as in the times of rain and fruitfulness.
And, just like He provided us with rain here on the island, He also knows how to bring refreshment in the spiritual desert.
Last week by invitation, the Shepherd's Heart staff joined the area staff of YWAM (Youth With A Mission) at a beautiful YWAM base near Jinja. It was both YWAM and SHIM's weekly prayer day, and we joined forces to seek God over several topics. One issue that lay heavy on the hearts of both organizations and their members was a broken down YWAM base that at one time offered medical services to the people of the upper islands, but had been abandoned for a couple of years.
We divided and conquered - listening to hear God's voice regarding the future of this base and SHIM's involvement in its restoration. It was a blessing to hear from those gathered that there was still hope for this once-forsaken place and it could be revived to once again provide vital services to people who desperately need them.
After this time of waiting upon God, the entire SHIM team that was present was invited up front to be prayed for in regard to this opportunity and our overall ministry in the islands. My heart was softened by my tears as these precious people laid hands on and prayed for me and my SHIM family. I felt renewed, refreshed and restored - able to go on and serve as God had called me.
God knows how to bring rain, especially in the desert.
"We never know where God has hidden His streams. We see a large stone and have no idea that it covers the source of a spring. We see a rocky area and never imagine that it is hiding a fountain. God leads me into hard and difficult places, and it is there I realize I am where eternal streams abide."
- Streams in the Desert, pg. 262