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Thursday Thoughts September 14, 2023

September 14, 2023

Last week we were praying for rain and an end to the drought. We aren't at the end of the drought but we got a wonderful rain this past weekend. We face physical and spiritual droughts throughout our lives and when we get relief, we rejoice! We feel renewed! On Monday when I walked outdoors just as the sun was coming up, the earth felt refreshed. Leaves that had drooped were now turgid and perhaps looking a little worn for wear but still had life left in them. The earth smelled so good and the air had a refreshment about it I hadn't felt or smelled in quite a while. The cracks in the ground had closed and the grass that had not completely died was turning green. I just wanted to burst into song because my heart was full of joy. I know this may sound a little nutty to anyone who does not feel a connection to nature, but I was so grateful. It was as if the earth had taken a deep breath and had come back to life.


Just as in a drought, our hearts may be heavy, our minds dulled by the complexities of life, and our spirits are parched. But after the feeling of peace, comfort, and the refreshment of the Lord falls on us after a long dry spell, our hearts and souls can feel a renewal as well. "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31. Some of the most loved and familiar Bible verses pertain to finding renewal for the heart and soul. Matthew 11:28 tells us, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest." "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him." Romans 15:13a. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18


Those verses help us understand that we have access to streams of living water and that they are at our disposal at all times. What keeps us from the renewal we desire? Luke wrote in Acts 3:19, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." When you see the words in black and white, it seems so easy, doesn't it? We were created to love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. When one of these things gets out of whack, we get in trouble, we wander away, and we enter into a drought.


We know one way to end the drought of the spirit is through spiritual disciplines. The word discipline indicates it takes work to have a good outcome. My exercise discipline, for instance, is lackluster as it takes work to do the things that keep my body in good condition. Cookies, pie, and cake are much more appealing than stretches, crunches, and squats. When we need to lose weight we sometimes engage friends or a weight loss program to help keep us on track. When our souls need to be reconditioned, we may need help from someone else to lead us back to the living water. That is the job of fellow believers. I suppose the question for those who feel quenched at the moment is, are you carrying water to someone in need? When we come to a time of drought, get to a trusted believing friend and ask for help. There is a remedy for thirstiness but we need to open ourselves to it.


None of us are immune to droughts. But scriptures provide the most reliable weather report around, one in which we have hope and a future because, "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16




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Bridgewater UMC 

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