Daily Devotional

Hearts Revealed by Drought

by Simon Whitton

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart,
Deuteronomy 8:2a (NIV)

When I was a boy I lived in North London.  Near the local park there was a small pond, and my brothers and I would throw the heaviest rocks we could lift into the water.  Several years later in 1976 there was a severe drought in all England.  It was the most serious drought in many decades, and the pond completely dried up.  Sticking out of the mud at the bottom of the pond was a German unexploded 1000 pound bomb, that had been their since World War II, and probably a few rocks.  The authorities were notified and removed the bomb.

Our hearts are deep waters, and there are many things hidden beneath the surface that we are not aware of.  There are fears, attitudes, weaknesses, and insecurities embedded in the mud at the bottom of our hearts; things that go unnoticed and are not dealt with.  Some of these have been deeply hidden in our hearts for many years.

God considers that the hearts of His people have great significance.  They are extremely valuable to Him, and He wants them to be pure.  The Lord uses various methods to test and purify our hearts.  The 'refiner's fire' is well known, and He also uses the drought.

I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains,
on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces,
on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."

Haggai 1:11 (NIV)

The Lord brings drought into our lives to uncover the impurities in our hearts. The drought may be in our relationships, finances, work or spiritual growth; but it creates a need, a longing for rain.  Sometimes it requires a very long dry period in order to uncover the deepest area of our hearts.

How your heart responds to this test reveals what's in your heart.  Ideally you should trust and have confidence in the Lord, not fearing or worrying, and continue to bear fruit.  However, the drought may prompt a different reaction and expose something that needs to be removed

The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters,
but a man of understanding draws them out.

Proverbs 20:5 (NIV)

Ultimately, the 'man of understanding' is God Himself, and He desires to draw out of your heart what's not of Him.  Perhaps the Lord has uncovered something in the depths of your heart, and the Holy Spirit has been speaking to you that it needs to be removed.

So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,

Hebrews 3:7-8 (NIV)

In the midst of the drought, let us draw near to God and confess the condition of our hearts.  Ask Him to remove what shouldn't be there, and let your faith assure you that your heart is cleansed.  Then look forward to the rain, because once the drought has accomplished its purpose there will be a downpour.

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