Mid-week Pastor’s Update 8-24-2022

Anaheim SDA Church

Mid-week Pastor’s Update

August 24th, 2022

“…Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” James 5:7

We here in southern California are used to having droughts: it seems like about half of my lifetime here we’ve been in drought conditions. Given that we have a similar climate here to Israel, I always found it easy to identify with the periods of drought talked about in the Bible. “Oh yeah, I’m familiar with that”, I would think.

Though I really wasn’t: we of course have means to mitigate the effects of drought very effectively, which people in Bible times couldn’t have dreamed of. We have the aqueduct coming from Northern California, a series of dams and culverts from the Colorado River, and, if all else fails, we have the ability to do desalination, effectively doing mechanically that which evaporation does naturally.

But in recent weeks I’ve been hearing of drought on a whole new scale: significant drought across broad swaths of the world’s northern hemisphere! A couple of weeks ago, my parents were doing a river cruise in Europe, and the company had to change their itinerary because the river was too shallow in places! Since then, I’ve been hearing of low river levels of the Yangtze, the Danube, the Rhine, the Colorado, the Indus, the Yellow, and the Canadian rivers.*

This is surely of major concern (as it also affects hydroelectric output capacity), and of course environmentalists are signaling this as a result of global warming-based climate change, which I don’t doubt that it is. But I can’t help also seeing it as illustrative as to what appears to be happening to our culture Spiritually.

Jesus himself said “because of the lawlessness of those days, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12), and I’m afraid I see that happening in our society. From aggression on the freeways, to angry school board debates (sometimes turning into fights) over what should be taught to kids in public school, to political vilification of the other side of the political aisle, I just kind of get a ‘bleh’ feeling in my soul about society going forward. Were it not for my faith, I wouldn’t see much cause for optimism at all!

What we really need, what we really need as individuals, as well as as a church, as well as every sincere believer in the broader society, we need times of refreshing from the Lord (Acts 3:19). While, yes, we need physical rain, we even more need the “latter rain” of the Holy Spirit nourishing us, tenderizing our hearts, and preparing us to give God’s last message of mercy to the world boldly.

Let’s remember that we can only have a hope to effectively help & minister to a parched, frazzled world, if we ourselves are refreshed. Let’s take Jesus’ invitation to drink the water of life! as he discussed with the woman at Jacob’s well in John ch. 4.

The hymn “Showers of blessing” come to my mind as appropriate given this sentiment: sing it in your heart to yourself & to the Lord just now.

“There shall be showers of blessing;”

This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above…

[Refrain]
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need!
Mercy drops ‘round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead!

Verse 2:
“There shall be showers of blessing”

Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain…

Verse 3:
“There shall be showers of blessing;”

Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy word…

Verse 4:
“There shall be showers of blessing;”

O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call…

I pray that in our own hearts, in your own households, there would be no shortage of water, physically, nor spiritually. Recall that we can always “go to the well” and drink deeply of the Savior’s love (Rev. 22:17), if we’ll put away the rushed aggression of the world.

May God bless you and your families the remainder of this week and beyond

Sincerely,

Pr. Mark Tatum

* Links to a few articles that have been posted recently about low river levels:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-21/northern-hemisphere-drought-germany-italy-france-photos/101341444

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/20/world/rivers-lakes-drying-up-drought-climate-cmd-intl/index.html

https://a-z-animals.com/blog/10-rivers-that-are-running-dry-in-2022/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: