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December 19 | James 5:1-11


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION

We Will Wait

by Mary Kate Hipp


I refer to my focus of study while in Israel as "theological geography." One of the slogans of the University I attended was actually "Read the Land." I carefully studied maps, topography, agriculture, military paths, the climate of Israel, etc. Sometimes our Western minds miss nuances and references in Scripture to the land etc. because, well, we live in an entirely different culture, at an entirely different time, in an entirely different place. The most fascinating fact to me is that this holy Land, that the Lord promised to His people, that would be a haven to His children for the most part, seems uninhabitable. Most of the land is desert. It is extremely hilly and coarse. Most of the soil is not adequate for crops. It only rains four months out of the year. In some regions, the land only receives 9-12 inches of rain. In the northern regions, which are the most lush, they receive, in a good year, 24 inches of rainfall annually. There is often just enough rainfall for the people of Israel.


I bore you with Israeli meteorology for this reason: the well-being of the Israelites was affected by the rainfall. They were dependent on the rainfall. The surrounding tribes and nations exalted a myriad of 'gods of weather' in hopes that they would provide adequate rainfall for their livelihood. If Israelite farmers' crops did not receive enough rain, they would not be able to make ends meet, put food on the table, house their families, etc. If there was not enough rainfall, there would not be enough water for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc.


Sometimes in our midwestern minds, it is hard to understand the metaphors in Scripture. Most of us are not farmers, we have running water in our houses, on average in Columbus, Ohio we get 60 inches of rainfall a year (Data). We do not depend on the weather for our well-being.


What is written in our text today is a portrait of this deep dependency on rainfall. As the Israelites long for rain, we long for the Lord. As Israelites depend on the rain, we depend on the Lord. As you can imagine, if the rain is delayed, if you have not had as much rainfall you may grow impatient and give up hope, maybe the Lord does not care for your crops. Surely that is not the case! Surely the Lord will provide for you. Surely the Lord cares for you. Surely the rain will come. So stand firm, persevere, and be patient in the Lord for He will provide as surely as the rain will fall.


If you have an extra moment, listen to the song The Lord Will Provide by Jon Guerra. For the past six months or so I have been meditating on this truth in the form of this song. Here is a snippet of the lyrics: "In some way or another, the Lord will provide. May not be my will, may not be your will. But He will at some time or another, He will provide. It may not be my time, it may not be your time, but He will. Trust in the Lord for He will provide."



PRAYER

Lord, we depend on You. Thank You for providing for our every need. Help us to depend on You today, as surely as the rain will fall, will You provide for us. Amen.


*I have provided a picture of a small stream that I stumbled across while hiking in Ein Gedi. Whilst hiking this 100+ degree day, I was out of shape, was not pacing myself, and had run out of water when all of a sudden, near the top of this mountain, I saw the glimmer of this water. The Lord will provide. Even in the desert, even on the mountain, even in the heat of it all.






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