Backed up by the BOM, we are in drought. The last time Tasmania had consistent rainfall to recharge groundwater and surface water storage (meaning; lakes, rivers, dams and soil moisture content) to adequate levels is going on four years.
Recently, my Uncle Barometer posted on FB a chart of an approaching front that will hit the east coast of Australia, bringing with it storms and rain. In January. The whole of the east coast. Including Tasmania.
He has a history of accuracy when reading these things, so when I saw it, hope rose in me in a way that shocked me to realise how connected I really am to the state of the environment around me.
I know that I am always aware of it, but until that point, I don’t know that I had realised how much my whole self is subconsciously tuned to the undercurrent of the state of the natural world.
Way back when, God gave us our first commission. He said to Adam and Eve “fill the earth and subdue it…” Genesis 1:28 (NIV) We are supposed to look after this thing, supposed to be aware of it, manage it, make order of the chaos, enjoy it, delight in it, wrestle it into submission, learn it, know it, and all that.
I grew up in an (agricultural) atmosphere of God’s favour, unconscious though it may have been, and as much hard work as it may have seemed from the inside. People who didn’t have it certainly noticed. That atmosphere in regards to the natural world has been passed on to the family in different ways.
In my family, we’ve not all grown up to be farmers, but we all do identify a deep love of all things natural. Part of that is to do with our upbringing, but part of it is to do with that inbuilt sense of stewardship that comes along with being human.
Not every person always notices the tiniest increments of dryness over years of drought. Which is fine, we’re not all called to be the same – how boring! Also I think it could be very dangerous for people if we had to take notice of everything all the time. Sensory overload is a very scary thing.
If we’re living our relationship with Jesus well, then out of that, out of that well of deep water, He and we can affect the kinds of change on the world around us that people who don’t know Him yet can see. Even if it feels internally to us like we’re working hard just to get up in the morning some days. It never ever means that we have stopped being a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We might feel like we’re just going about our daily business, but other people are seeing beings of power and light. Because they’re seeing the literal Glory of God all over us.
This is what I realised as I was reflecting this week: There was something God-positive built into me and I didn’t even realise it. For these years, I have been watching and waiting for rain, knowing that the land around me was in need and somewhere in there, part of my soul and body has been crying out in prayer, interceding on behalf of the farmers, people who need to eat, the land itself. Until I saw that forecast and felt the relief and hope.
There are things that are built into us that we don’t even know about. I’m not talking about potential here, but about those things that we are already doing and being that we cannot see. The strengths that God has built while we thought we were doing something else.
Kind of like this: carrying kids and groceries for years and then your doctor or trainer gives you a strength test and you find out you can lift a weight you would never have thought you could, if someone had just pulled a number out of the air…!
Another thing that is fascinating to me is I didn’t discover this after it rained. It was while waiting for the rain. In the middle of big bushfires and smoke, while the ground is still dry, the sun is still hot and the air does not yet hold the scent of rain. It was a rumour that brought this breakthrough in understanding something new about depths in myself that I had not seen previously.
In the middle of drought, a rumour of rain revealed a character strength God has been working into me without my active understanding.
What else God-positive is built into us that we do not actively understand? Why are we so quick to discount His Glory in us and on us? Didn’t Jesus die to make us worthy?
When we accepted Jesus and chose the Narrow Way, we gained access to all of God. All of God is in us, and we are hidden in Him. We cannot help but be changed by this. Sometimes we are actively aware of the changes, and sometimes He is making changes that we do not realise are happening. Active awareness comes when an event or circumstance triggers our understanding, and He reveals His work in us.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)
I pray that this week, you might discover many things that God h