This summer has been exceptionally dry in Fort Dodge.
In fact, many Fort Dodge natives have described this summer as the hottest, driest summer they’ve ever experienced. I’ve only lived here for three years, so I don’t have much of a reference.
Normally, the summer is the wettest part of the year in the Midwest. Growing up in California, I found this hard to believe. Until August of 2010. It rained five inches in one day and three inches the next. Our basement was totally flooded. We had to gut it and we are still working on it to this day.
I have a feeling that many people around here would take eight inches of rain in two days over the drought we’ve been experiencing in a heartbeat.
The impact of this Midwestern drought is far-reaching. Corn and beans are about as dry as they should be in October. In some places, farmers’ entire crops have been ruined. Others have lost many livestock and hogs due to the extreme heat. The lower yields of corn will make it more expensive to make fuel with ethanol and to feed many animals that will be used for food. The entire nation will notice the impact from this drought.
Everything just looks so brown, yellow, and dry. It looks so dead. It reminds me of the rolling hills of the East San Francisco Bay area in the summer time – nothing like how Iowa normally appears in the summer time.
At the beginning of this last week, we finally got a decent rainstorm in Fort Dodge. It wasn’t the most impressive storm ever, but we did receive moisture.
And I tell you, I could notice a difference on Monday. Lawns looked greener. The ground didn’t look as parched and cracked. Everything around me appeared more alive. I was amazed at the impact just one storm could have.
It was a visible reminder of how much we depend on water. It truly does bring life. Without water, we don’t survive.
This coming Sunday, we are preaching from John 4, where Jesus speaks to a woman at a well and tells her that he offers us living water. Elaborating, he says that anybody who drinks from a normal well will thirst later on, while those who go to him will be given a completely different kind of life.
As I’ve been thinking this week, the rainstorm was a powerful reminder to me that Jesus restores my soul. When I don’t have enough of Jesus in my life, my soul dries out and withers up, just like the grass in Fort Dodge without water.
Similarly, just a glimpse of God’s love for me is enough to completely restore me.
This one storm wasn’t the sum total of all precipitation we’ll ever receive, but even still, it had an impact. We barely even experience a sliver of who God is, and our lives are impacted.
Are you experiencing any spiritual drought? Does it feel like you are going through a dry spell?
Consider how you might be refreshed from the living water of Christ. If one average summer rain can bring new life to a community, imagine what Jesus can do in you.
Imagine the impact if you spent time to day praying for your family, or reading some encouraging Scripture. How might you be refreshed if you prayed with somebody close to you or talked about how you’ve seen God at work in your life? These are just a few suggestions to show you some possibilities.
How might you be more able to experience the refreshing presence of Christ in your life today?