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by Rick Stephenson
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FAMINE - This is a word we don’t regularly use or hear a lot in the United States. We often hear or associate this word with third world countries where food may be scarce. But do we only think of food when we hear this word. Does it really apply only to those somewhere half-way around the globe? Could we be affected by a famine here at home or better yet are we already being affected by a famine and we aren’t even aware of it?

Unfortunately, I believe the answer is a saddening yes! However, before I describe the current famine that the US is experiencing, let me first explain with a little more detail what a famine really is.

According to the dictionary a famine is described as an extreme widespread scarcity, usually food. This definition makes sense to us because we typically associate the news reports of food shortages and the related images of those suffering through a food famine with the physical part of us as human beings.

Lately, though if you have been even the slightest bit observant to the media over the past four or more years you may have the inkling like me that we are experiencing a worldwide economic scarcity. Money is tight as many would say. Credit is hard to come by even though interest rates are low. Also, employment has been tough to obtain for those unemployed and seeking work. Just think of the housing market and if my neighborhood in a middle class suburb of Wisconsin is any indication, there is a scarcity of buyers but not sellers.

Consider the political status of where we as a nation are at as well. What have all our overseas efforts obtained for us in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya etc…, in what was supposed to be democratic building moves has resulted in more dislike and disrespect even unthankfulness than before. But moreover, here at home the political backstabbing, name calling, and corruption have escalated to the point that nearly nobody knows what the politician’s platforms are or what issues are truly being addressed. In fact too many Americans are viewing the upcoming elections as simply “choosing the lesser of two evils.” Really? Is that what it’s come to? Is this the result of a leadership famine?

Overall business is no better than the political scene with CEOs stuffing as much cash in their bank accounts as they can carry before defrauding and assaulting the public consumer. It just might be a famine of self-constraint and better judgement as the board of directors sit around and try to find their newest head honcho for the next brief period of one or two years.

We could dive into the overwhelming problems plaguing our schools, healthcare system, entertainment world and dare I say it even our churches. Numerous widespread scarcities of common sense (which may be an oxymoron since good clear thinking is not all that common any more), morals, values, solid beliefs and yes faith abound throughout our society. You can hardly throw a stone without hitting someone affected by some type of famine in our land. But that is not really my purpose here. I do not intend to throw stones; I simply want to get to the root of all these issues and help identify the solution.

You see a famine occurs simply when there is a piece or pieces of the equation missing. Take a food famine for example. It typically occurs because either there wasn’t enough planting, enough rain, timely harvesting or distribution. This may sound like oversimplification but stick with me for a minute. When everything else is present but there is no rain the result will be not enough crops to harvest. When everything else is present but there wasn’t enough planted to begin with, there won’t be enough food for everyone. Or, lastly when everything else is present but the distribution was ineffective then there will be some who have and some who don’t.

Therefore, if we understand what causes a famine – lack – then we can also know how to fix it. If were not getting enough rain for example, then we had better get water from another source, either drill new wells, pipe it in from rivers and streams or move closer to a larger body of water. Notice though that in a famine fixes take time to work and if the fix is given up too soon there may be no fix at all.

If we can identify the cause of a famine then why haven’t we been able to fix all the issues affecting America? Well to be honest with you there are only two possible reasons: 1) either we haven’t identified the right cause or 2) we haven’t applied the right fix. I personally believe for the US it is both of these issues.

I believe the cause of ALL the famines we are experiencing throughout the United States is a lack of God. In other words, I believe that due to our society’s desire to push God out of our schools, courthouses, places of work and yes even in most of our churches we are seeing the results. And, it the results that speak for themselves, high crime rates, corruption in politics, teen pregnancy rates and corresponding abortion rates, lack of trust, respect and love etc….

Now, while some try to identify alternative causes and subsequently apply their own fixes to situations we may see some minor improvements but they haven’t and won’t last for the long term because they have started with the wrong cause. It’s like a doctor simply treating the symptoms of the disease rather than the root cause of the disease. The patient may feel better at first but sooner or later the disease overpowers them once more making them feel even worse than when they went to the doctor the first time.

On the other hand, a few have identified the right cause, that we have a lack of God resulting in our various pains, but they have applied the wrong fixes. They have interpreted God in their own minds and/or picked and chose what they wanted to believe, accept or implement from His word. That’s simply like trying to address the fact of no rain with pouring a bottle of water over several acres of crop land. It just won’t work.

If we have truly identified the cause of the famine (and I believe we have) then the application of the fix will take consistency, dedication and time. We must return wholeheartedly to God and become 100% obedient to His word. It’s only then that we will see the turn around in our nation. Here are a few scripture quotes to give you a better picture of what I mean:

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

“If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. 1-Kings 8:37-40 (KJV)

“If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.” 2 Chronicles 20:9 (KJV)

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” Hebrews 5:9 (KJV)

I would encourage you today to determine for yourself if God is the fix for America. Simply pray, seek His face, read and obey His word and you will soon feel the refreshing rain of His Holy Spirit upon your life. Just like when a famine ends when the steady rains come, it still falls only one drop at a time, we all can be a drop of rain in the Spiritual famine of this land if we take our selfishness and judgementalism and sacrifice it to God then put Him first in all things!

God Bless - Rick


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