ROCKWALL, TX (Aug. 2, 2022) So, this is drought. Some of us have never really seen one except for scenes in the world news and photos published by relief organizations. The drought, along with a heat wave (minus the breeze that usually comes with a wave) has been life-threatening, especially to livestock and poor creatures of the field.
The burning heat and cracked, shriveled earth can make us feel forsaken, like those whom God remembers no more (Psalm 88:5). We may wonder if we’re off God’s radar.
We hear that drought is connected to global warming. If we believe in Mother Nature, we’ll perceive that she is troubled, bent out of shape over our excess.
Mother Nature was not prominent in past ages, when tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters were referred to as “acts of God” or “Divine Providence.” Maybe the gurus of the Modern Age decided it wasn’t good to ascribe destructive works to God, so that he went out of the picture altogether. Mother Nature is credited with all bad weather; she therefore receives the praise for beautiful days.
We must cast down the idol: There is no Mother Nature who rules over us. The natural elements respond to their Creator, and we can direct our concerns and fears to him. In Leviticus 26:3,4* God spoke to his people saying, “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”
This does not negate mankind’s responsibility to tend to the earth, but we should neither view ourselves as at the mercy of nature or as the only ones who can save the environment.
Our Father in heaven “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). But receiving too much heat and too little rain are shared conditions as well since sheep and goats dwell in the same vicinities.
In prolonged heat and drought, hot and thirsty souls may wonder if their region is a test site for Revelation 16, when the fourth angel will pour out his bowl of wrath—fire and scorching heat. Even though sinners might not repent, God’s people may need to. The turned-up temperatures bring up the dross in us. We languish and complain, and our better perspective droops.
As a remedy, we can offer praise to God for the water that still gushes from our faucets. We can thank him for electricity that provides air conditioning and ice cubes. And we can shout “hallelujah” over God’s comforting promise in Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
“The earth is the Lord’s,” to do with as he pleases (Psalm 24:1). Let us take him to be our God, for better or for worse, in green pastures and in drought.
*ESV scriptures throughout
[Note: This article is revised from the author’s original article of the same title published in 2011].
By Patti Richter. Patti writes and edits Christian faith articles and has co-authored Signs of His Presence: Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of Suffering (March 2019). Read more of her essays at blueribbonnews.com/category/faith.