When You’re Enduring A Drought

Do we see the stones or notice the drought first? To be honest, I see the lack of water before I notice the stones. This is rarely helpful to me. To face challenges, I need to see the stones first then work to find solutions to the drought. When I talk about stones, I am referring to Joshua 4. Scripture like Joshua 4 and Acts 18 have become a recent focus in my personal devotional time.

The Challenges of The Promised Land

The Israelites were crossing the Jordan to get to the Promised Land. They set up stones in the dry Jordan River. The stones were a reminder for future generations to focus on what God had done. The stones would not be seen when the Jordan flowed over its banks. During a drought, the stones would be visible. Crossing the Jordan wasn’t going to a land of rest.  

“The challenges only got bigger as the Israelites entered the Promised Land, but the task to trust God was prominent even amidst the challenges.” (David Guzik)

The Promised Land wasn’t a place of rest but of battle. When I posted on WorldVenture about the cost of following Jesus, a couple of responses disappointed me. We forget the cost of following Him, even gloss over it or choose not to serve Jesus but ourselves. We look for the Hallmark version of faith instead of the real gritty stuff most of us experience.  

Ministry is all about risk, and WorldVenture is about risking all. The most important thing to remember is how God never sends His people to Risk All without sending reinforcements.

The Gift of Deep Friendships

In Acts 18:9-11, God tells Paul in a dream He has “… many people in the city.” Because of God’s encouragement and provision, Paul stayed a year and a half in the city. Paul continued working in his role despite perhaps fear, even doubt. Corinth was a rough city to serve in. The commentary described church planting in Corinth as “… none but the tough survive.” What I love most about this chapter is how God took the time to speak to Paul, assuring him of friends in the city. In this chapter, it focuses on some of those friends:

  • Priscilla and Aquila were Paul’s deeper friendships. In reading the commentary on this chapter, Priscilla was mentioned first which is said to be unusual. It shows how much God values women, not just men. Priscilla and Aquila were true friends and true partners in life, too.
  • Apollos was enthusiastic about Jesus but knew little about Him. Instead of doing what so many of our churchy people do these days, yelling at him or nitpicking at him for not having it right, Aquila and Priscilla discipled him – a demonstration of patience in ministry and with people and of great love for each other.

God has many people in the city still. Loyal, hard-working, strong friends who, daily or weekly, inspire me to keep going even when I am at my lowest or even at my most fearful and insecure. Maybe the solution to our fears is simply obeying God like Paul and exercising faith like a muscle.

I cherish the people God has sent my way. In different seasons of life, those friends have kept me putting one foot in front of the other. These friends also help me see the stones when I only notice the drought or help me see solutions to the drought when all I want to see are the stones.