Do you remember Joshua’s outrageous prayer, “Sun, stand still.”
On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
“O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself onb its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Joshua 10:12
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I once asked my Bible study group if they had ever prayed a huge prayer– and what happened next. And we heard a faith-building flood of stories.
And here was one which struck me. A woman told us of the time she, aged 28, was leading a team of 18 year olds on a gap year at a mission project in at an orphanage in South America. There was a drought, so tap-water was mostly unavailable. And the water ran out in the orphanage.
The 18 year olds freaked out, “What should we do; what should we do?” My friend who had no idea herself, so said, “Let’s pray.” And they did–had a little prayer meeting asking for water.
Even as they were praying, there was a knock on the door, and an old farmer they had never seen before or since, said, in Spanish, “I’ve heard you’ve run out of water. I have a well. I have come in my pick-up truck, and can take you there.” And so they scrambled into the pick-up with every container they had, and there was water.
* * *
Even in times of drought, there is always water. There is 35 times more freshwater underground than in lakes and streams. There is fresh ground water, even in desert regions. (Seriously, perhaps development charities should prioritize digging wells in drought prone regions of the world?).
And I thought: there is always water when we are sad. We might need to quieten down and dig deep within, or deep into Scripture for the water which Jesus gives, a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14).
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And as for ideas, there is no writer’s block in heaven. God is always thinking, his thoughts towards us are like the grains of sand on the seashore. Part of our job is to quieten down, get out of the way and listen.
Creative blocks are caused when we don’t tune in to God, when we don’t slow down enough to sense his smile on us and our work. (And often, when there is unforgiveness. Then we need to forgive ourselves, forgive God, and forgive all whom we perceive as contributing to the block.)
We might need to realign ourselves with Jesus for streams of creativity to flow out of us, for Jesus promised, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37).
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We are never without water, spiritually; never without grace. The rain of grace is always available. When things seem dry, and wild fires rage, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to rain down on us, in mixed metaphor tongues of fire. And prayer for the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus, is a prayer which is always answered. (Luke 11:13)
And thanking God for what we have, for the equal opportunity blessings which persist when all seems lost, opens our eyes to the goodness of God. And restores our joy–bringing rain to our parched, ungrateful hearts!