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Learning to Trust in a Dry Time
We all have times when things are hard. They are times when everything seems to go wrong and nothing seems to go in your favor. Lately, that has been my story. Bills seem to pile up. My wife's health has not been great. It seems like something is broken in the house or on the car every week. We have all times like this, right? The worst of all is that when we call out to God, it seems like God is distant and far from us. It feels as if our prayers are going unanswered. We are living in a dry land, which has no well full of water in sight to satisfy our parched mouths.
We can take comfort in the fact that we are not alone. People have always gone through these hard times. Many people in the Bible had ailments that went on for years and even decades. We as Americans look for solutions in 30 to 60 minutes, not years! How do we respond? I believe it is during these dry times that we need to cry out to God even more and trust Him more. It is the exact opposite of our nature. Our nature says that if something is not working, then do something else. We do not like to double down on something, which is not working. Our extinct is to want to try something different. That is not what God says to do. God says to keep trusting in Him and obeying Him. In this article, I am going to discuss what we should do during these parched times and we will look at some examples of people in the Bible who did those things and found blessings because of it.
Keep the Faith
When we are in a dry land, we long for God to answer us and to rescue us out of it. We pray day and night for help and that help does not seem to come. Martha and Mary felt this, as their brother was lying gravely ill. They waited for Jesus to come over that hill, but Jesus never came until it was too late. Their brother, Lazarus, died and was buried in a tomb. Hope seemed to be lost for them. Then, Jesus finally came. The sisters rand and cried to Him. They asked Him, What took you so long? Jesus never condemned their cries. He told them to keep trusting in Him. He also cried with them. The Son of God was touched by their love for their brother and how much they interceded for him, even now when he was dead. The two sisters were rewarded by Jesus. He brought Lazarus out of the tomb, alive and back to them. They kept the faith and they were rewarded. Do not give up. Keep holding tight to God and your faith in Him. All too often, we give up just as Jesus is coming.
Two Prophets and Two Widows
The Old Testament prophets, Elijah and Elisha, both had dealings with two remarkable widows. Both of the widows had very little left physically and financially. Both prophets made sure that the widows had enough to keep going. Elijah's widow graciously shared the little she had with him. She was rewarded with a jar of never ending oil and never ending flour, which lasted for a few years. Elisha's widow had a debt problem. Elisha rewarded her with enough oil to sell to pay her debt. All she had, was that oil and it was enough. Even in a dry and parched land, God can cause a spring to flow up to take care of our needs. When we are going through this tough time, we must look for ways to take care of those around us, even if we are in need. We must continue to trust in God that He will continue to provide for us.
A boy's little lunch
God does not need a lot to help us. We see this displayed when Jesus fed the more than 5,000 people. Jesus went to a remote place to meet with his disciples. They were seen and the crowd grew and grew around them. This gathering came together quickly and the people did not have time to bring any food with them. That is, except one little boy. He had brought five loaves of bread and two little fish. The bread is like a pita, not a loaf we typically buy at the store. The fish were like sardines. This meal would barely feed one growing boy. It could never feed this multitude. That is true by our standards, but not by God's standards. God can do a lot with a little. We need to offer Him our little and trust Him to multiply it. And that is what happened. Those seven pieces of food were multiplied and the people had more than enough food to eat. In fact, each disciple had one basked full of the leftovers. In this dry time, you might not have a lot to offer, but offer it to God and He will do the rest.
The Blind Man in John 9
In John chapter 9, we find Jesus and His disciples walking past a blind man. This man had been born blind. The Bible does not tell us how old he was, but his parents later in the chapter would say that he was of age. Every day he would sit there all day long, near the temple, begging people for money as they passed by. Jesus' disciples ask Him, if this man was blind because of his sins or his parents' sins. Jesus told them and us that this man was blind so that work of God could be displayed in Him. He was in the dry land, in order that God could display His power and goodness through Him. That might be a reason we are in that land too. We might be there in order for God to get the glory. God might not be rescuing you yet because He is planning a grand rescue and deliverance. This man faithfully day after day showed up to beg. Can you imagine if he had awoken that day and said “forget about it, I do not feel like sitting there all day again.”? If he did, then he would have missed the blessing Jesus had for Him. Do not quit. Keep doing what God wants you to do and keep trusting Him that He will see you through it. One day, Jesus is coming to rescue you from this dry land and you do not want to be AWOL that day!
Jesus told the story of persistent widow and an evil judge, in Luke chapter 18. The judge did not want to grant justice to the widow because he was a crooked judge. This widow went to him, day after day and persisted in asking for help. He finally gave in because of her persistence. Verse five says that he gave in because he was afraid her persistence would wear him out. God wants us to come to Him with that persistence. Jesus promises in verse seven that God will not delay long. God wants us to be persistent in our prayers. We need to keep praying to God and asking Him to help us. Do not give up when your prayers seem unanswered. God is faithful and He will reward us for our persistence in seeking Him.
Living in a dry land, is not fun. I know I would avoid it if I could, but God puts here for a reason. He has us there so we can learn and grow to trust in Him. He has us there so our circumstances can bring Him the glory when He rescues us. God has us there to help others who are there. God has not forgotten us. He knows where we are and He is in control. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. We need to trust in that promise.
“God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”— Dwight L. Moody
God's promises are true and God keeps His promises. Cling to these truths. Do not let anyone talk you into doubting that. God is there for you and He will always be there for you. Before you know it, you will be in the lush, green pasture land once again. Keep the faith and keep trusting in God!
© 2017 Josh Cramer