A Dry Brook

Today’s a normal Wednesday – prayer meeting & bible study in the morning (along with the requisite preparation), Rotary at noon, later picking up HRH at school, then cooking dinner since my wife will be running the church children’s program this afternoon. In the times between these events, I’ve been listening to bits and pieces of The Nines, a one day leadership event put on by Leadership Network and Catalyst.

One person I was able to hear in whole this morning was Steven Furtick. His nine minute talk (that’s how the Nines works) was about Elijah. God had sent Elijah out into the wilderness during a time of drought in Israel. For a good amount of time Elijah was able to get water from the Brook Cherith. But then the brook dried up.

If you’ve been around bible teaching for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered use of the metaphor of dryness. Once there was a flow, once there was life. Now we’re parched. We’re thirsty. We’re needy.

Furtick asked why the brook went dry. By extension, we would ask why we experience dryness in our lives. The first part of his answer was to observe that it was a drought after all. Brooks often dry up when there is no rain. It wasn’t that Elijah had done something wrong or that God was sending judgment on him. No, it was just the effect of events in the broader world.

But the dry brook gave Elijah a chance to move on – to go have his needs met elsewhere. Furtick suggested that sometimes as leaders we experience times of dryness, and in those times, God is enabling us to move on and find other sources that he has prepared for us.

So if we want to have – need to have – a fresh encounter with God we need to move, actually, physically move somewhere, relocate our residence? I don’t take that to be Furtick’s point. Instead, there are some things we are currently doing that we need to stop doing. There are some practices we are not now engaging in that we need to take up. We need to enter some new relationships and perhaps recontextualize some old ones.

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