If you live in Texas, you know that we are in the middle of a pretty extreme drought. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area we are in danger of rolling blackouts due to excessive energy usage, we are breaking all kinds of heat records, and it hasn’t rained for weeks on top of weeks. Everywhere you go, people are talking about the heat and the lack of rain. They’re starting to replace the shorts and bathing suits at Target with long-sleeve shirts and sweat pants, but somehow I don’t think those items will be flying off the shelf any time soon.
As the dead grass crunches under my feet and I sweat profusely in the shade, however, I am led to praise God for this drought. This may be hard for us to do when the only place we can get comfortable is a meat locker, but hear me out. In Acts 17, as Paul is reasoning with the philosophical brains in Athens, he says, “The God who made the world and everything in it… he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (vv. 24-25). We Christians believe this… that God gives us everything and we are completely dependent on him for the things we need to live, but we can very easily forget it. When something in our lives isn’t going right we often depend on ourselves to make things better, because there are many things that we can do to address the problem that make it feel like we are the ones fixing it. When someone loses his job, he beefs up his resume, watches youtube videos on how to present himself in a job interview, makes tons of phone calls to find leads, and works at finding a new job like it’s a 40-hours-a-week gig. Then, when he lands the job, it feels as if he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to make it happen, even though it was God sovereignly working everything out behind the scenes.
In a drought, there is no way for us to depend on ourselves for more rain. There is nothing that we can do to make it rain no matter how hard we try. No person on this planet has the power to make it rain. All we can do is look to God and wait for him to provide us with what we need. We should praise God for drought because drought reminds us that what is true of rain is really true of everything else: God is the only one who can provide it. Drought strips away all human ingenuity, skill, and hard work and leaves us with the foundational reality that God “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything”.