As we stared out into the horizon all we saw was smoke and flames. There was an all consuming fire that was ravaging the land. Everywhere you look, the ground was black and charred. Everything was dead.
Right now in South Sudan, it is one of the hottest most miserable times of the year because it is the peak of dry season. The farmers and hunters are burning the land to clear it for the next season…rainy season. But this isn’t just any rain that’s coming, it’s redemption rain.
Before the rains come there is a sense of hopelessness over the land. It’s hot, everything is dead, and there is no end in sight. One wonders…what good could come from this dry, burnt place? Some would say nothing good will come from here, but then again someone once said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
There is an eager anticipation for the rains to come to birth life from this dead ground. And much like this physical anticipation…there is a spiritual anticipation from sons and daughters who have never heard the good news of the Savior who came out of Nazareth to breath life onto their dead, dry bones.
Some might think that the rains will come to wash away this all consuming fire, rather the fire will take care of itself. Once it burns everything it can, the fire will subside. It is at this point when redemption rain starts to pour from the heavens. There will always be a remnant from the ground that can’t be touched by the fire, but once touched by the rains it will produce fruit. It’s just a matter of burning away all that doesn’t belong so these rains can water what still remains.
In South Sudan, we visited a church and the people there showed us the foundation to their first church. This church was burned to the ground and their pastor was taken away to later be tortured and killed. It would appear a hopeless situation that has literally been burned to the ground…yet redemption rain came after the fires and watered the remnant.
As we stared at the foundation to the old church, in the background there was a beautiful new brick church that was bigger and more sturdy than the first.
The winter has passed and the spring has come. A once dark and gloomy season that has left some without hope is over, and the rains are coming to water everything that remains. The dead and desolate places in our lives are being awakened once again. Your new season is here.
Blessings, The Partner Relations Team