As much as I romanticize about living in the desert someday, and as much as I think it would be good for my sinuses and my old aching body, I am not sure I could handle it.
We had not seen rain -- real rain -- around our house in several weeks. Now, I know that it has not been nearly as dry as it got to be last summer but, still, I like rain and, when it doesn't come along, I miss it.
Starting late last night, though, our prayers were answered. It started raining and it is still raining. Unfortunately, the rain has come along with a few violent storms ... but that's okay ... at least we have had rain.
I was pretty excited when it started raining last night. In fact, I stepped outside the front door and just stood in the rain for several minutes. I held my face to the dark sky and allowed the rain to wash over it, down my neck, covering my body in cool, refreshing water. It was an incredible feeling after such a long dry spell.
(Okay, I stretched the truth just a wee bit there. I actually dashed out the front door for about 30 seconds, allowing our dog just enough time to "do her thing" before I dashed back inside. But I did get some droplets on my head and shirt and it did feel good.)
This refreshing rain has reminded me of the devotional that a close friend of mine gave at a church meeting we had last evening. I am sure that I do not remember everything he said because his devotional was packed pretty full but I do remember what really hit home with me. He talked about finding our personal areas -- our bandwidths if you will -- of effectiveness. But on top of that he stressed that God needs to be at the middle of that -- that if we're trying to do things out of our own power, our success will be limited and the road will be rocky.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5, NIV)
His devotion convicted me of just how short, rushed, and shallow my prayers have become in recent months. I have kept up fairly well with my Bible and book study but my prayer life has been really really bad. And that is what happens to me during times of busy-ness and stress. The times that I need God the most are the times that, quite unfortunately, I turn to Him the least.
Just like the cool rain restored the earth last night, refueling it for the rest of the summer, my time spent with God in prayer can refresh and renew -- restore -- me ... if I give it the time He deserves.