“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:1–3, esv).
During a drought, everything feels parched and desolate. Lawns fade from lush green to dead brown. Crops in the field wither, fruit stands are deserted, and farmers feel defeated.
There’s drought, and then there’s drought. Most of us didn’t live through the drought of the 1930s—the worst in U.S. history—but our parents or grandparents did, and they remember nine, long years without rain. In the breadbasket of our country, the richest farmlands became the Dust Bowl. More than 75 percent of the country was affected by the drought, crippling 27 states severely. On April 14, 1935, a day known as “Black Sunday,” the wind whipped across the parched farmlands and blew dust into “black blizzards” that stripped millions of acres of topsoil. Most of us have never witnessed a drought of that magnitude—not in the land, at least, though sadly too often in our spirits.
Isaiah 58:11 describes the human heart as a garden. Some hearts are like “a watered garden,” while others become “scorched places.” A neglected heart becomes overgrown with weeds, then grows dry and lifeless, and is eventually swept away in a dust storm.
Like me, maybe you’ve experienced some parched days in your relationship with God. Maybe you’ve known the sadness of falling in exhaustion and watching through weary eyes as your heart for something or someone began to shrivel. Maybe you’ve had seasons where time with God was non-existent, and weekend worship felt like “Black Sunday.”
This doesn’t have to be the end of your story. In fact, “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:20). You can have a fresh downpour of God’s grace and mercy upon your life. Your tired hands can feel a fresh surge of energy to labor for our King. The jaded eyes that read these words can gaze in renewed wonder and awe upon the God who loves you. The aging heart that beats in your chest can pulse with renewed joy from God. God is not reluctant! He is ready and willing.
As Hosea assures us, “He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” The soul in drought needs God’s showers. And when He gives, He gives in abundance. When you turn your parched heart to Him, He’d never respond, “Here’s a tiny bit. That’s all I’ll give you right now, but check back later if you want a wee bit more.” Does God give like that? No! God gives in “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Luke 6:38) and “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
When revival comes to the human heart, it doesn’t come as a gentle, summer, sunshine rain. It’s not a sprinkle or a scattered shower. When revival comes to the human heart, it’s a torrent, a cascade, a deluge, a downpour!
If your heart feels dry and scorched today, then hear Hosea’s invitation: “Come, let us return to the Lord. . . . He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” For a thirsty soul, a spiritual downpour awaits.
Lord God, I’m weary of being dry and passionless. I see the true condition of my heart. I acknowledge those places I’ve left untended, that have grown dry, brown, and lifeless. Thank You that my soul isn’t condemned to drought. I choose now to return to You. Would You come to my soul as a refreshing shower? Would You bring new life to my weary heart? Thank You that I don’t have to refresh myself; You refresh me. I need You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.