Summer 2012 burned hot and dry across most of these United States. In Indianapolis, we set all-time records for the longest dry spell, the driest June, the most consecutive days without the thermometer dipping below 70 degrees, the hottest month, and the list goes on. Our reservoirs dropped to low levels and the city imposed water usage restrictions.
Extended drought would be disastrous for our region that relies upon abundant rain. As a major metropolitan city without deep reservoirs and without a navigable waterway, Indianapolis is particularly vulnerable.
God promised his people in Deuteronomy that if they did not obey him, he would strike them with “fiery heat, and with drought” (8:22). We do not know all of God’s purposes for the drought of 2012, but we do know that it should have caused people to stop and consider their ways. To my knowledge, our city and region did not engage in any widespread repentance, though certainly many Christians did as they reflected on the drought that burned lawns and fields.
Yet, from August through October the Lord brought rain. November remained dry, and December precipitation fell at about the normal rate. Today, the January books are closed. The Lord sent over twice the normal precipitation for the month. Our rivers and streams are swollen, the reservoirs are full, and the soil and water table are being replenished.
Why should we notice? Augustine of Hippo once wrote: “In the study of created things we must not exercise a mere idle and passing curiosity, but must make them a stepping-stone to things that are immortal and that abide forever.”
We do not deserve this great kindness of life-giving rain from our God who covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, and makes grass grow on the hills (Psalm 147:8). Nor do we deserve the teaching of his eternal word, which drops like rain, like gentle rain upon the tender grass (Deuteronomy 32:2). Yet he keeps pouring out both. Praise the Lord!