It is raining today. While Maryland appears to have recovered from its recent drought problems, we needed this recent rain. Over the last decade we seem to cycle between periods of really wet weather and several years of below average rain that have lead twice to drought conditions.

Our lives go through similar cycles with their own periods of drought. Sometimes things seem just to dry up all around us, personally, professionally, and even spiritually. With the weather, we readily realize that we are at the mercy of the larger climatic cycles and can do little to change the events, except engage in the conservation of precious resources. However, during times of personal drought we often assume (at least the proactive among us) that we can change the deficiency in our personal environment and get the “rain” falling again, as if it depends on an act of will. While planning and perceptive activity is sometimes necessary and on occasions will prime the pump, often it doesn’t work that way. The vacations, the time off, the retreats, or on the other side, the redoubling of efforts and streamlining of our life, these are some of the things we try to get the personal skies to open up Still, it often fails us. As a result, there will be times when our only reliable course of action is to conserve our precious inner resources while we wait for things outside of our control to change.

Sometimes this is exactly what God wants from us. He wants us to pull back and examine our goals and our direction to see if what we are doing is sustainable or maybe to show us a course change is necessary. There are times that it comes down to making hard choices, very hard choices. It is during these times that the drought and our inability to do anything it about forces us to examine the unexamined. An unrelenting drought, at first thought to be a curse, has a redemptive purpose in God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes, despite all our protestations, drought is a good thing. I am going through a drought right now. I have been forced to make some changes and to examine the unexamined. Remember me in your prayers tonight, not that the drought we be relieved, per se, but that I will use it in the best way possible and with God’s help, turn my stones into bread.