From Drought to Floods

Dallas Morning News HEADLINES: May 30, 2015

UNDER WATER: “North Texans wake up to flooded homes and waterlogged roads after a night of punishing storms. And more rain is coming.”

It’s the second to the last day of May and it’s still raining. It’s been raining all month. No, I don’t live in Seattle, I live in Texas.

For about 7 years, it seems, we (Texas) have been in severe drought. We have water restrictions, poor tasting tap water, cracked ground, empty reservoirs, ruined crops and a depleted cattle herd to prove it.

After a few years, a massive “pray for rain” campaign ensued and many of us thought we might get a legitimate “revival” out of it all. But alas; we experienced a small revival and still no rain; until May.

When the month of May hit, we finally got rain, lots of it. People were happy at first. Many thanked God and hoped for a bumper crop. We all thought we might pull out of both the severe water problems and the economic hardship that failed crops and a sold off cattle herd had produced.

But we were wrong, instead of a beneficial soaking; we got deluged with rain in biblical proportions!

We now have a new record for rain fall in the month of May and that’s with three days left to go. In fact we’ve gotten 85% of our average annual total in just 28 days of this month. That means 35 trillion gallons have fallen, enough to cover the entire state in 8 inches of water! Last night (Friday) it rained in awesome fashion with thunder so loud it shook windows and lighting so close it lit up the house even with the blinds pulled down. It was awesome, frightening, dangerous and deadly. People lost their lives, some lost their property, some their livestock and all of us are losing our perspective. We are beginning to ask, “What’s up with all this rain”?

I, to be candid, am struggling with God’s purpose in this. I am struggling with the extremes – from deadly drought to deadly floods. I am confused as to what my perspective, as a believer, ought to be and how I ought to pray.

In fact, that was my prayer request, yesterday to a prayer partner. Then this morning I read Psalm 29 as part of my daily devotional-bible reading, routine. From that sacred text, I clearly heard God tell me how I ought to view these catastrophic weather patterns. The text reads…

Psalm 29 (NASB)
The Voice of the Lord in the Storm. A Psalm of David.

“Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in holy array. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over many waters.
 The voice of the Lord is powerful,
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.
 The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire.
 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
 The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!” The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
 The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

After I read that, I settled down, it was obvious to me, that God had at least one purpose that I was to discern, while His others may continue to remain a mystery. I thought God might be exhibiting His displeasure for our sin in sending the drought; that He might be seeking to move us to repentance and revival. Then, when He sent rain, I thought perhaps it was evidence of His mercy. So I was confused when the rain turned into another form of destruction and dismay for the people of Texas.

I was so busy interpreting the acts of weather, morally, that I was overlooking the attributes of God.

He reminded me that it wasn’t for me to say if or when He was seeking a revival any more than I could say He was sending His wrath as a visible proof of his displeasure for our sins, or rain as a blessing, an evidence of His grace to us. No, His orchestration, timing and utility of those concepts are beyond my pay grade. I can’t fully understand the ways of God (Romans 11:33-36).

In fact, I now remember that Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us this; “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law”. So I stand corrected. I don’t know what God is doing – any more than Job did.

This is what I know and Psalm 29 helped me to clear that fog off the lens of my spiritual perspective. That Psalm jives with my circumstances and recent experience with God, to teach me this, and it’s simple…

God is powerful, awesome, frightening, and destructive, period. That’s the truth, that’s the lesson.

Did you catch the words the psalmist uses to describe God, by using the imagery of a storm? Note verse 3; “water, thunder, many waters”. Note v 4 ‘His voice is powerful, His voice is majestic, His voice breaks things’! Note v 7, 8 and 9; His voice hews out flames of fire, it shakes the wilderness, it makes the deer calve and strips the forests bare’. See; “Powerful, awesome, frightening, and destructive”!

When God, who’s immensity is incomprehensible, flexes His muscle, of course it’s awesome, so big and powerful we can’t imagine its size and scope; much less Him!

What that Psalm tells me is it’s time to forget the weather, its effects and its moral meaning. Instead it’s time for me to allow weather to point my attention to God and to inspire me to worship. It’s time I remember to fear God, be impressed with Him: His magnitude, power and even His grace that He doesn’t allow the weather to totally destroy all that He has created.

Scripture tells us, in Zechariah, 14:4 that when Jesus returns His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and it will be spit in to two mountains, a “very large valley” between them. How big and powerful is that?!

Yes, these Texas storms have shown me through the immensity and terrifying power of the weather, just how much bigger and more powerful God, the creator and superintendent of the weather, is.

I am satisfied with that, now. Therefore, I say, to Him be all Glory and dominion.