Me: “Trevor, see all this dirt and wind? This is baaaaaad news for farmers.”
T: “Well, God can stop the wind with his sword.”
Me: “You’re right, he just has to tell it to stop. But sometimes, he uses the wind to make us stronger. He’s here with us, even when it’s windy.”
T: “Yep, He is.”
This was our conversation as we dropped lunch for Matt this afternoon amidst 50 mph winds, speeding tumbleweeds, and the topsoil of Nebraska blowing by. Over a month ago I wrote about the dust bowl we’re experiencing here, and it hasn’t slowed yet. I’m seriously wondering a) how the original settlers in this place kept suicide at bay, and b) why the hell they stopped here. Only a thousand more miles to California! But there’s good news in this wind today, and here it is:
The weather is not God. God is not the weather.
It’s easy right now to confuse the two. When the weather is nice, one might almost love northeastern New Mexico. When it’s not nice, one may start Googling Florida real estate and drawing Farm For Sale signs in Magic Marker. The weather and wind seem to have complete control of our daily routines right now, and we spend a lot of time praying for rain, thunderstorms, calm winds, El Nino, hurricanes in the Gulf, low pressure systems, basically anything but what we’ve got.
The weather here is unreliable at best and demonic at worst. It tricks us into thinking that God doesn’t care about us, until it rains, in which we start thinking he really does know we’re down here, and then it seems as if our faith is dependent on, symbolic of, and determined by the weather. And no one relies more on the grace of the weather than farmers; few workers are worrying more today than the guys out getting sandblasted while preparing dry ground in a dry land for crops that need lots and lots of water.
But here’s the deal. There’s water, and there’s Living Water.
Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. – Jesus, John 4:13-14
This “spring of water welling up” makes me think of last summer when the wind stopped and it finally rained here. I have never witnessed such a difference in the landscape of one place. With rain, it is beautiful and fresh and green and wonderful! Without, apparently, it’s the dusty surface of the moon, void of chlorophyll. The difference that rainwater makes is extraordinary and unique and there is nothing on earth that compares, not even irrigation. Isn’t this what Jesus tells the Samaritan woman? That there is no water on earth that compares to the living water we find in him? Our souls are dry, dusty, windy places without the living water of Jesus.
So the past few days is one of the worst dirt-spells since we’ve moved here. But Trevor and I know this: there is no weather on earth that God can’t control (or stop with his sword, of course) and no water we can find as nourishing as living water.
Today I’m thankful for that.