Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: STORM (10/05/17)
TITLE: Fierce Provision
By Dave Walker
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From far off it came, like a soft recurring growl. Impala, suddenly alert, raised their heads to sniff the air. A lion rolled onto its stomach and stood up, looking towards the sound. Birds called, hesitatingly at first, but gathering courage from each answering note. Frogs, long dormant in the dank river beds started to sing -- shrill notes resting on the gravelly counterpoints of their huskier companions.
Another rolling growl, closer this time, and a breeze, roused the expectation within the forest. The trees stirred themselves, and whispered, with leaves fluttering in the wind, "It's coming! It's coming!"
Now, bright flashes preceded the rumbling, the wind grew stronger; the trees entered a wild, carefree dance. The forest burst into a song of expectation. The rain bird called out joyously peet-may-fro, peet-may-fro, the frogs turned up the volume of their orchestra, a blesbok gave a delighted hrrmph, small animals darted through the undergrowth, seeking shelter, a hedgehog curled into a spiky ball.
Lowering purple-black clouds obscured the light. Brilliant flashes and deafening bursts, like the crash of a thousand drumbeats announced the awesome majesty of God's provision. The wind ceased. For ten minutes there was an ominous silence.
Then the miracle came --- water falling from the sky in torrents. Tons and tons of water, bursting from its celestial vaults to be poured upon the earth. Trees groaned under the weight of the deluge, branches broke, the weaker plants and some small animals were washed away. God was fiercely and powerfully providing.
The earth drank thirstily and gratefully, till it could hold no more. Now the water rushed through the forest. Dry river beds became frolicking streams, then hasty, swirling waters hurrying to the sea. On and on the waters came, driven by fierce winds that hurled them to the earth.
Then suddenly, it was over. The storm was spent. The forest was hushed with the ferocity of it all. Tentatively, a dove began to coo. A woodpecker joined in, the rain birds sang their joyful chorus, frogs, crickets and cicadas, barking baboons and snorting zebra set the woods alive with song. Life had been poured out from heaven and the earth rejoiced.
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Life loses its meaning in the parched world of spiritual drought. Anger, deceit and compromise, like the unrelenting heat of a brassy sky, cause joy and optimism to wilt. Tragedy, loneliness and sorrow silence our souls, robbing them of song. Prayers become subdued and dry. Like the deer that pants for water, we long for spiritual rain.
Then, like the distant rumbling of thunder, Spirit to spirit, the Word of God assures us of His promises.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has the mind conceived what the Lord has in store.
Something stirs within, in anticipation. We sniff the spiritual air and sense a change.
Then He comes. It could be with gentle blessing, like soft, falling rain. Yet sometimes His provision is fierce, coming in a storm of trial. We cringe and wait as it washes over us, grateful for the change in our circumstance --- for a new awareness of God --- yet holding desperately on as the trial passes.
Then it is over. The storm has brought with it, a new faith in the promises of God, a new awareness of His glory and love, a new sense of being His son or daughter. New life in the Spirit springs forth. The garden bursts into bloom and we start to sing.
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