I want to write about the drought in light of Jesus' words to His disciples in what is known as the Lord's Prayer, but I keep crashing against dams of complexity as I hear others talk about the drought.
"It's an environmentalist-caused drought! They just want to save the smelt and the salmon!"
"No, it's Big Ag! They're taking all the water with dollar signs in their eyes!"
"It's Bruce Jenner! I heard he's been planning this since he won the gold medal in '76!"
"Global warming is the problem! 2014 was the hottest year in California on record!"
"God is trying to get California's attention! He's calling us to repent of our wicked ways and to turn to Him!"
"It's Obama's fault! 'Nuff said!"
All of these cases may be right and all of them may be wrong. Meanwhile, the mountains have little snow and our mailboxes are steeped with watering restriction guidelines. Our wells are going dry and our neighbors look a little suspiciously at whether we should be watering on Tuesday or Wednesday.
I have little to no authority with environmentalists, Big Ag, Bruce Jenner, global warming, and with Obama. However, I have been given authority as a child of God. In Matthew 6 Jesus taught us to pray with authority and power out of our identity as God's children. He said,
"Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
And forgive us our sins,
As we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don't let us yield to temptation,
But rescue us from the evil one."
Two words from that model prayer have been flowing through my head in light of the drought.
We need water. We need rain. We need wisdom. Our Father, like a good dad, loves to hear us ask for what we need and He loves to provide. He's a good, good Father and He has the power and resources to provide. We can ask for the bread and the water we need. Will you continue to turn to Him and ask Him to provide?
We need forgiveness too. We need our Father's grace poured over our choices. We need forgiveness for demonizing the opposing side to whatever argument we face. We need to be cleansed for gossiping when we should be shutting our mouths. We need to be washed for our independence and self-reliance. Our Father provides and He forgives. Will you turn to Him for forgiveness?
We need to extend forgiveness as well. Right after the words of the Lord's Prayer, Jesus said, "IF YOU REFUSE to forgive others, your Father WILL NOT forgive your sins." (Mt 6:14-15) We withhold the rain of forgiveness for others and wonder why there's a drought in our own souls. Will you open up the flood gates and extend forgiveness?
We really do have the highest recorded temperatures these days. We really do have water being diverted from farms and cities in hopes of seeing salmon and smelt return. We really do have issues with greed that often blind us. We really do have problems with systemic sin issues.
But, we need rain. And our Father provides. Let's ask Him together for it!
We need forgiveness. And our Father forgives. Let's find freedom from sin!
We need to forgive. And our Father is calling us into action. Open up the flood gates!