Austin, Texas is known for a lot things. It’s the Capital of Texas; “Live Music Capital of the World”; “The Third Coast”; and the “Second Silicon Valley.” It’s a great city, and because of that, it is the fastest growing city in the U.S. with more than 100 people a day arriving to make Austin home. It’s known for the lake system created by the Colorado River that flows through the city. Texas and U.S. history runs deep in Austin. But we’re making a new mark in history now. We’re suffering from historic drought conditions – the worst in more than 50 years. And the fact that we’re adding a hundred new people a day doesn’t help the water supply. Lake Travis, fed by the Colorado, is 50 feet below its standard level of 681 feet. In some lake areas, levels are so low that old towns and settlements are now uncovered which had been under water for many years. The state and local governments have put measures in place for rationing and preserving our dwindling water supply.
But even though the plans are needed, plans to ration and preserve will not solve our problem. For all the good things about Austin, we are a city in need of more than rain that will replenish our rivers and lakes. We are a city in need of a downpour of God’s Spirit, bringing revival to the church and the refreshing work of God to a spiritually dry city.
Is lack of rain an indication of God’s judgment? If it’s not God’s judgment, it’s at best His desire to once again get our attention and our hearts. We’ve read, heard, quoted and prayed the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” But we may be guilty of reading the verse in isolation. Verse 13 sets the context for our humbling, praying, seeking and turning. For verse 13 says, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people.”
God has shut up the heavens in central Texas. But IF we, His people, will humble ourselves, and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, THEN He will hear and forgive our sin and heal our land.
God, we need rain. But more than the rain, we need the healing it represents.