Let It Rain

The photo above is from the panel discussion about the CLB vision to be a "Disciple-Making Church." Each ministry director discussed how this vision is lived out through their area of CLB ministry. Watch the panel discussion video at the end of this article.
There are many famous stories of droughts recorded in the Bible. God used a drought to elevate Joseph to the right hand of Pharaoh and reunite the children of Israel. God gave Pharaoh a dream. Pharaoh saw seven healthy cows devoured by seven sleek cows, and God gave Joseph the ability to interpret that dream. Joseph saw that the cows represented years, and there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. In the story of the Prophet Elijah, God used a drought once again. He told Elijah to tell the King that the land would not see rain until the Prophet commanded it, and for three years the Prophet was silent, and so was the sky.

In the summer of 2021, much of the United States was experiencing a severe drought. Near my home, swamps were disappearing, creeks were drying up, lakes were shrinking, lawns had turned brown. When I walked outside, I could hear the grass crunch under my feet. The land was thirsty.

One night in the midst of the drought, my wife and I woke to the sound of thunder. I went back to bed, because that’s what I do, but my wife grabbed her phone and checked the weather. She saw that we were in the path of a severe thunderstorm. The next thing I knew we were outside in the wind gathering cushions and securing furniture. It was eerie. With every strike of lightning, we could see an ominous wall of clouds moving closer. They looked angry, and full of rain. I thought to myself, “Good, we need it!” As my wife and I went back inside, we heard more thunder, but not a drop of rain.

Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given.

In the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have been given a priceless gift. It is the gift of water for those who thirst. It is the gift of healing for the brokenhearted. It is liberty for the captive. It is comfort for those who mourn. It is the promise of a day when the dead will rise and all eyes, even the eyes of those who pierced him, will see the Son of Man—Jesus—coming on the clouds in glory. We have a gift.

We are called to follow this Son of Man, this Savior who sits at the right hand of the Father, whose hands have been pierced for our transgressions, whose blood has washed away our sins. This Savior calls us to place our failures at the foot of his cross. At his cross, we find family, new brothers and sisters—a community of those whose thirst has been quenched by living water. We worship together in hope. We pray together in expectancy. We persevere in trial. We rejoice in triumph. We partner in mission, encouraging one another all the more as we see the day of Christ’s redemption drawing near.

This new family is united by gift and also a gift in itself. Each one of us has been equipped with a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good of the whole. To one is given wisdom, to another faith, to another healing, to another discernment… prophecy… the working of miracles. If we are to live out our calling as the body of Christ in this unforgiving land, we must not suppress the gifts among us. We must learn to unleash new leaders—young who dream dreams and old who see visions. We are called, partnered, and unleashed to multiply new disciples.

The people are thirsty, and all creation waits in anticipation.

Let the waters spring forth, and open the floodgates—for whoever drinks the water we have will never thirst again (John 4:14). We have a gift, and we are not those who boast of gifts never given. We are not clouds without rain.

Let it rain.

Rev. Troy Tysdal is Director of Communications and Prayer for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren and serves as editor-in-chief of Faith & Fellowship magazine.

No Comments