Thursday, June 3, 2010
Waiting for the Rain - Acting on a Promise
I have written about the desert before. I have to say, for some folks I know, dry is really dry. It is like the heavens and the anointing are nealry gone. The fire within is simply an ember. I have been there too. This time it's been quite a while.
Three and a half years ago I moved to greater Boston. Both my wife and I were laid off. As we were praying about what to do next, a few things happened. The first was that church was just about to kill us. People were nice, but there was nothing too deep about it - no relationship. No matter who we invited over for dinner, it just never seemed to happen. We just knew it was time to leave, and so we asked to be released. That was the week of my lay off.
We continued to pray, and I diligently looked for work on the Internet. The best jobs were near Boston, so I started to interview. It was 90 miles up, and 90 miles back each time.
One evening we were sitting in the living room and my neighbor and a friend of his knocked on the door. They wanted to know if we were interested in renting our condo with an option to buy. We didin't really think too much of it - we had already tried to move a few motnhs earlier, placing a deposit on a bigger condo in the same complex.
About a month or so later, I received two job offers in the same week. I took the one that was closest to a church that I thought would be good for us. We called the folks that wanted to rent, and they said yes they'd like to move in August - the same week that my new job started. We signed a deal and we were moving out while they were getting ready to move in.
It all happened so fast, and smoothly that it had to be God. Finally, I was catching a break.
I loved my new job, was making some good money, bought a new guitar or two or three, and a Mustang GT - and church didn't work out for us, but one not far away seemed to. We went to dinner with the new pastor and his wife. I confessed my past sins just in case the gossips were out there - they're always out there. We attended home group, worship team, marriage group, ministry team and did all the church stuff, I even started a couple of men's groups. And just about the time I "proved" myself to leadership, the pastor announced his resignation.
The interim pastor took over, and ministry was pretty much shut down until they found a new one. I dreaded sitting through another service. I quit the worship team. I just couldn't do it any longer. I was mad that I had invested well over a year into this sinking ship.I didn't think a lot of the interim pastor which made it even harder.
One day he was preaching about something I had heard many times. He quoted this verse: James 5:17 "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.". I heard the Lord speak. It would be three and half years until I would see the rain again.
Wow! I only had two years left to go. I was sad, yet I felt the promise of God rise up in my heart. The rain would come, I believed it. So, I settled in, went to a local church, and decided that for the first time in my walk, I would just be faithful regardless of what I was getting out it. A needed character change.
A few months ago, I started driving an hour to a church pastored by someone that I have known for about 10 years. I have been going up north when I feel like I need a drink of the real thing. Other times, I just go to the little place down the street. Nobody seems to notice when I am not there, but they are nice when I am. It's a short service, and my little one enjoys their children's program.
In the natural, I have noticed that the rain doesn't usually start very hard before it get heavy.
In this season, it is sprinkling. Today the pastor invited me to work "towards" a position at the church that he needs filled - I just happen to have a few certificates and some education in this very realm of ministry. Instead of trying to make room, there is room. That's new. As I look back, it was exactly three and half years ago I moved to this dry and dusty land and that i made this new connection.
I am excited at the possibility, and would appreciate your prayers - in fact I would covet them. Pray for rain, for me, and for this entire land.
How about you, are you waiting on a promise?