Note: This "Grounds for Insanity" column was published in the 07/23/12 edition of The Goshen News. It was written and submitted two days before the horrific shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Oh, how our country needs rain!
It pained me to see it. Driving along, the signs were stark, sobering. Past lawns, dry and brown. Past fields of corn, leaves curled and brittle. Past homesteads and farms usually green and fertile where drought had come like a thief in the night, stealing hopes and dreams from the people who worked the land.
“Lord, send rain.” My heart turned instinctively to the One who could help. “Oh, Lord. Send rain.”
Only days ago, our next-door neighbor had come over. Her water was nearly gone, and she was inquiring about our supply. Concerned, I’d told the boys not to fill Little's wading pool. We’d tried to be careful, taking shorter showers and being cautious with the watering. Then one night, it faded to a trickle. The drought had come to us.
The heat that came with it was suffocating. Across the nation, records were falling like walnuts from our trees. Then storms struck, leaving thousands without power in the midst of dangerous temperatures. People were hurting, desperate for relief.
Drought and heat. Barrenness and lack. Death, slow, in browns.
My thoughts turned to what was happening in our beloved country. So many folks were out of work. Unemployment was a staggering 8.2 percent, which didn’t count those who’d given up. It couldn’t tell, that terrible number, all the stories. Couldn’t show all the faces of all the people whose lives were being affected. People who were hurting, desperate for relief.
Drought, heat. Barrenness, lack. Death, slow, in browns.
What was happening in yards and farms, cities and towns across the land was only symptomatic of what was happening at a deeper level. In the nation that had been founded on biblical principles, a far more ominous drought had come, this one in the hearts and minds of its people.
The country had been settled by sturdy men and women who’d forged west, facing great peril and death. Who’d cleared the land with bare hands and bent backs. Who’d built cities and towns by the sweat of the brow and steel determination. Who’d known what it was to do without; to help, neighbor to neighbor, and so doing, had done great things.
The pioneering spirit that had built a nation was being replaced by something deadly; a victim mentality. A “give me” attitude. An “I deserve this” mindset that checked personal responsibility at the door; that lulled a willing populace to sleep as more and more freedoms were stripped away.
Further, the family itself was under attack. The institution, conceived and designed by God to be society's building block, was crumbling. “I do until death” was, in too many cases, “I will until I don’t want to anymore.”
Who could count the casualties? Could number the hearts broken and lives shattered? Who could heal those that were hurting, desperate for relief?
Oh, this drought – this spiritual famine – this was the real catastrophe. Here, babies were killed while animals were protected, and equal rights for women didn’t extend to those in the womb. Here, folks fussed and fumed about the color of one’s skin, forgetting that underneath, we’re all just people. Here, leaders lied, truth was relative and the church often looked just like the world.
It was a world gone mad, where white was black and black was white and lines all blurred into shades of grey.
Drought, heat. Barrenness, lack. Death, slow, in shades of grey.
“Lord, send rain.” Oh, send rain. For as much as we need clouds to form, for lightning to flash, thunder booming, we need spiritual rain like never before. We need,
America does, revival in our
land. We are hurting, desperate for
relief. We need God.
“Do you think this is God's judgment?” a friend asked recently. Although I have no clear answer for her, there are several things I know.
We live in a day of grace. That's one. God's holiness and His love are equally balanced. That's two. When God does punish, His intentions are redemptive. That's three.
Could God be punishing
America? He could.
Lord knows, our corporate sins are great.
Is there hope for us? There is, for it is not God's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Our lifeline, our only hope, lies in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
This, this is the rain we need: return, repentance, revival. Only this will save
her spiritual drought. Only this will
bring restoration and relief for a wayward, backslidden nation.
God and God alone can heal our land. He alone can reverse the curse of death in browns and greys, bringing life abundant in shades of green.
Revival begins one heart at a time. It starts with me, and it starts with you. Let it come. Oh, Lord, let it come. Send the rain.
Just after this column was submitted, liquid gold began to fall. We receive it with utmost gratitude as we continue to pray for the rain we really need.