So, this was it.
Rob gazed over the desolate pastures that had once been an oasis in the Australian Outback. His mind peeled away the layers of memories both good and bad. Unfortunately the past 4 years had been a constant struggle trying to balance the books against extreme odds that included the latest in a series of soul destroying droughts, the latest of which had meant the heartbreaking task of shooting starving stock to prevent any further suffering.
The lack of rain was not unusual for Rob’s cattle station, a property covering the same area as some European countries, but the combination of the lack of water and the ruinous desert winds had ensured that not a blade of grass remained where at one time an ocean of waving grassland had supported a thriving beef cattle enterprise that Rob always referred to as his piece of paradise that God had given him to nurture.
Where had God, his Jehovah Jireh been the last few years, the very same who had supplied an alternative sacrifice that had prevented Abraham from having to offer his son Isaac. Was God testing him as he had done Abraham, an exercise of testing Rob’s faith and determination to be thankful in all circumstances? Surely not the Job scenario re-visited.
At no time did Rob consider himself to be in the same league as these two faith heroes but his discussions with his fly-in pastor had left him empty and spiritually vanquished.
The bank had the final say and today would be the closing chapter as the property would go under the hammer, probably to a multinational buyer as had been the trend to several of Rob’s neighbours.
Rob approached the Bank Manager who had arrived with the Auctioneer and Rob greeted them with a new found confidence.
“G’day Jason, I see you have flown in with the executioner”.
Jason believed that he had given Rob every chance to stay afloat but the reality of the situation had forced his bank to take this final step in an attempt to at least recover some of their losses. He had developed a genuine friendship with Rob and this made today very difficult for him as well.
“Hi Rob” replied Jason, “this is Geoff and I’m sure he will do his best to get a good price for you”.
But Jason sensed that Rob was not listening as he had a huge grin on his weather-beaten face that did not fit with the situation.
“You seem quite happy Rob”, Jason was compelled to ask, “What’s going on?”
Rob studied his Bank Manager and the Auctioneer. His financial fate seemed to be in the hands of these two men. Not so, God had assured him to trust Him and Rob placed his faith in God’s promise that He would supply his every need.
“I think you had better sit down and pin your collective ears back because I have one last challenge for both of you”.
Jason was well aware of Rob’s obvious faith in a God that seemed very remote to him as a Bank Manager who considered himself to be a self made man. However, as a friend he was prepared to humour him just one more time.
“Okay Rob” Jason replied “What’s on your mind”
Rob steeled himself as he explained that God was preparing a miracle, and that all it would take was four more days before the sell out.
The Auctioneer walked away in disbelief but Jason, although convinced that this was a desperate last stand, heard himself agree. He did not understand why he did so but experienced an unusual influence that defied all logic.
Rob responded with words that would be a life changing event for Jason, “Thanks Jason, you had better prepare yourself to experience something very special and get ready to celebrate the reality of God and his awesome power”.
Rob and his family went into intensive prayer thanking God for the work He was already doing.
On the morning of the fourth day a massive shaking of the ground of the entire cattle station brought with it a massive flood of ground water from what had always been described as redundant artesian bores.
Months later the water was still flowing and was described as an “artesian inversion”.
Rob’s Bank Manager was still astounded by this and his increasing belief in an awesome God.
Rob wasn’t at all surprised and his books were very much improved.
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