Like much of the South, the area in which we live has been experiencing a drought for much of the past year. At first, I actually enjoyed the lack of rain. I'm a big fan of sunshine, so more of it was good. But eventually the lack of rain took its toll on our grass, on my flowers, and, I'm sure, on the local farmers. And I began to wish for rain. But the rain didn't come - at least not in amounts large enough to matter. (I don't think 2 minutes worth of rain helps much!)
I think everyone was happy when it began raining two days ago - good, long soaking rain. I know I was so thankful for the rain! So often in the past I viewed rain as an annoyance or irritation, but not this time. The drought made me appreciate the rain. I always knew we needed rain, but I didn't appreciate it as much as I should. I took it for granted.
For my and for my girls, the church planting journey has produced a drought of companionship in our lives. The easy relationships from our former church are more difficult since we don't see those friends once or twice a week at church now. My oldest two girls are the only youth at our church, and there's just one other woman near my age. There are few children as well.
When the physical drought began affecting my outdoor plants, I had to take action. I began watering my flowers nightly. It wasn't always fun or easy, but I knew that my plants would die if I didn't. I think my girls and I are in a season of watering now. We must work harder to maintain the friendships we formed with people at our former church. It is harder now that we don't see them at church regularly. I also must work on making friends with the people at our own church, even though they are in different stages of life than I am.
Even with the lack of rain, I never doubted that we would have rain again. I knew the dry spell was just temporary. And I can also have faith that our relationship drought will not last a lifetime. The physical drought made me more thankful for rain, I know that this season of friendship drought will give me an even greater appreciation for the friends God will bring into our church.
Until then, I'll keep watering!
"And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing." ~ Ezekiel 34:26b