To say the least in Southeast Missouri, we have had an abundance of rainfall in the past several months and weeks.
As I write this column on a Monday morning, the dark storm clouds are swirling around and about to add to my rain gauges.
Prior to coming to Southeast Missouri, we lived in the western part of Oklahoma, where we had a level five drought.
It had been going on for several years, and farmers especially were anxious for the dark rain clouds to appear, even if there was a risk of a tornado happening.
Many farmers could not even plant a crop because there was not enough moisture for the seeds to germinate, much less grow.
We all measured rain in tenths of inches and were thankful for any that fell from the sky.
During this time, there were two colors, brown and dead.
The tree in my yard was of the latter color.
I watched the tree in our front yard slowly turn from green, to brown and then dead.
Sadly, people would turn people into the water authorities if their yard looked better than theirs, or should I say greener.
It was a long dry spell.
Finally, the drought broke and the land turned green again.
Lakes, reservoirs and streams began to fill up and the waters flowed.
I remember going fishing at Tom Sneed Reservoir, where I was about 20 feet below the normal water level fishing on dry ground.
I will always take the rain clouds over the dry spells.
It seems for the past several weeks I have had a long dry spell in writing my column.
I know that all writers tend to do that from time to time.
It’s called writer’s block.
When I lived in Oklahoma, I also learned another phrase that focused on dryness.
Oklahoma is noted for oil wells, and I learned about the term dry hole.
A dry hole is when a drilling rig drills a new well hole and after a while discover that there is no oil to be found in that particular site.
It also can be applied to drilling for water.
They have to move on to another site.
That is what I’ve had to do when I started a theme of a column and it went dry.
But like the oil rig wildcatters, I did not give up, and I just moved on to rethink the column.
On this particular column, I began to look into the Scriptures about the people of God being in need of physical and spiritual water for refreshing of their souls.
According to the Book of Genesis, at the beginning of creation the water welled up from the ground.
“This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made them. Now no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth, nor had any plant of the field sprouted; for the LORD God had not yet sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But springs welled up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.” Genesis 4:6.
After entering the Promised Land, the people of Israel soon began to forget that God had been with them and had given them food and water at Meribah.
But later on, the Prophet Isaiah says the people needed to be refreshed.
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Isaiah 44:3
“Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? Where is He that put his Holy Spirit within Him?” Isaiah 63:11.
So it happens to all believers in all times.
Sometimes we have to have a drought to recognize how much we need the rains.
It’s also a reminder of how much we need God in everything we do by our side.
As the roots of the earth are long for the rain, many of us are long a refreshing also to sustain us.
We all need a refreshing of the soul just as the ground needs a refreshing to grow.
But it is also a blessing to see the reminder of the rainbow in the sky after a storm.
“I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth.” Genesis 9:13.
Rev. Chlastak is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has served congregations of the Christian Church in Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Missouri. He believes that God’s love in Christ extends to all people, and that ours should also.