I returned to a different Uganda than I left in December. The land that I left was lush, green, and full of life. Not too hot in the day time with cool breezes and rains at night. After all, that is rainy season here. It is quite pleasant and enjoyable. But now it is dry season. The equatorial sun blazes. The dust chokes and the heat exhausts. The dry orange earth cries out for mercy as scattered clouds dance across the sky, gathering for a moment and then passing by. Each day is a replica of the last. Green fades to brown and crumbles. How much longer can it not rain?
But the people here know the secret of the seasons. If you comment on the sweltering heat or the dust that makes it’s way into every crack and crevice they will just smile and confidently say “Yes, but the rains are coming!” As sure as dry season comes every year at this time, it also ends. The rains will come. Maybe earlier than expected…maybe later. But the rains ARE coming.
I realized this week as I have wrestled with once again being back here, that spiritual dry seasons will also most assuredly come. But the same faithful God that leads me by the peaceful waters and runs beside me to the top of the mountain is the same faithful God who guides me in the desert. The dry places teach me lessons that could never be learned on the river bank. In the desert, all you can think about is when it will rain and when you can get your next drop of water. It is your life, your everything. There is never anything else that can satisfy true dehydration other than pure, cool, clean water. You seek after it more than food, more than money, more than anything. But if you are positioned on the river’s edge, you don’t worry about water or even seek after it. It’s always there. You enjoy it’s presence and may even be thankful for it. But it isn’t your one consuming thought. Being in a spiritual dry place brings me to a place where I have to seek after the true source of Life Giving water with every fiber of my being. There’s nothing easy about it and it takes true, intentional work. But those moments He meets me in the dry season and rains down when I think I can’t take one more step are the sweetest gifts. He satisfies like nothing else can. It usually doesn’t come in a torrential downpour. Maybe more of a mist or a sprinkle. But it’s always exactly what I need in the moment, and it’s always enough to last until the next time. And when I get to see a taste of His power and glory, especially in the dry places, there is no way I can’t be drawn in to worship Him.
But rest assured, the rains are coming. Maybe not when we planned or expected. But they are coming.
There will be a time when dry season will end and there will be so much water the earth won’t be able to hold it all. There will be planting and dreams and prayers for the harvest. . Seasons come and they go. But our God is faithful through them all.
My prayer is one of surrender to the work He wants to do in me in these dry places. Instead of just wishing for this season to be over, I pray to just seek after Him like water, and wait patiently for Him to come. “Faithful You have been, and faithful You will be, You pledge Yourself to me and it’s why I sing Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips… “~Bethel Music
“Oh God you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory,
Because your love is better than life
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live
and in your name, I will lift up my
hands.” Psalm 63:1