Monday, April 1, 2019

Water From a Rock

Douglas Frank Photo

Water from a Rock

Have you ever seen water pouring from a rock? Can you squeeze water or blood from a rock? I can’t, but I know who can. “Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink” (Exodus 17:6). The disobedient Israelite people in the desert were thirsty and were grumbling against Moses, God’s anointed. Moses obeyed and struck the rock and the miracle of God occurred to bring water that I can imagine looked like the overflowing from the above photo by my cousin Douglas Frank. God told Moses that He heard the grumbling of His people. He always hears our grumbling and our praising and prayers. Did you know that God always hears us? He hears and He answers us if we seek Him with all your heart. He will bring us back from captivity (Jeremiah 29:14). 

Are you in exile or undergoing some trial that seems like you have been banished to the desert with no resources? Do you have some illness that brings no hope from physicians? I know what it is like to hear those kinds of words about a condition for which there is no known cure. Futility is a place in the desert; it means that nothing that you can do will make a difference in the outcome. You know that money cannot buy healing. So where do you go? Do you grumble and complain? Of course you do. You are human and do not have solutions to all things, you are not in control.

We are in the season of Lent or waiting. What are you waiting for?  The Bible references “waiting” over 150 times. I suspect that all of us are always waiting for something. So what do you do then? Do you just sit or wish or complain or do you pray? Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). Wait? How do we wait and for whom? “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7). David “The Sweet Psalmist of Israel,” waited a lot as he ran from King Saul who pursued to kill him. He constantly had to hide and even feigned mental illness to not be killed. Are you in such a place? Are you experiencing a darkness rising in our times that seems to be taking all hope with it? “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1). There it is, wait on the Lord, the One who brought water from a rock. The One who provided manna in the desert and healed countless futile illnesses. He is still doing it you know. He hears us when we call and answers our prayers. Going to Him, our Creator is necessary, but His timing and ways of healing or provision are not our ways. In fact the Prophet Isaiah tell us, ‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways, your ways,’” As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways and my thoughts than your thoughts...So my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:8-9, 11). As sure as the rains and snows fall so He will do it. 

I don’t know if you believe that God has thoughts and says words? Well if you don’t you have missed the only way and response to your desires. God knows what you need and He will provide all of it through His glorious riches in Christ Jesus His Son. He is in control and you and I are not. You can take your chances on finding a solution or cure for what’s ailing you. Run down the passageways searching all your days. The New Testament speaks of all of us waiting eagerly and even groaning as we wait. 

I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Does this verse from The Hound of Heaven, by Francis Thompson sound like you?

But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
  All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
  Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
  Halts by me that footfall:
  Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
  ‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
  I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’
This poem tells us that we run from God, but that it is He alone that we seek. He is the only  One who will fill the hole in our heart as Mathematician and Theologist Blaise Pascal wrote of in the 17thcentury. 

So where or what are you seeking in this increasingly confusing world? If it is anything other than God, you are without hope. This is not my opinion; it is the Word of God for us. I know that fewer people believe than the Bible is truth, and this is to your demise. 

It is Lent or a time of waiting. What are we waiting for? I am waiting for Good Friday or the crucifixion. Why would I wait for death? I wait because of the promise and truth that three days later came the resurrection and the life that conquered death. Yes, Jesus rose from the grave. It is a proven fact. Go ahead search it out. This truth has been illuminated by God to me several times in His saving me from death or near death in the dark world of illness and accident and human selfishness. I know and I believe and trust in His provision and the power of Easter morning. I can because as I prayed the words of Psalm 103 on my futile bed with a high fever and frozen joints, it was God who overwhelmed and healed me totally. My mourning was turned to dancing and grave clothes to gladness. His promises are real and precious. Seek Him!

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