This past Sunday afternoon, after a busy morning preaching at church and tending to preparations for he week ahead, the desire to crank out a ride overwhelmed me. Here in the Honduras, due to our proximity to the equator, the sun sets quite early. My watch informed me that it was 4PM, leaving me about 90 minutes of daylight at best. I anxiously put on my jersey, shoes, helmet, and other cycling paraphernalia.
Upon pulling my titanium steed out of the workshop, a quick skyward glance informed me that nightfall was not my only risk if I were to proceed with this ride. In deed, the sky was already menacingly dark with storm clouds. In thinking of the stresses of the week ahead, I literally decided to throw caution to the wind. My next opportunity would be Saturday, nearly 6 days later! (I am sure some of you understand this NEED to ride, which certainly is not only for our personal benefit, but also for that of those who we love.)
I launched my Strava app, and headed up the hill at top speed. After putting the first difficult 1,700 ft of elevation in the bank, I arrived at a crossroad and was faced with making a tough call. Turn around and head back from whence I can, or venture down an appealing little rugged double-track that was unfamiliar to me. Since caution had ALREADY been thrown to the wind, I decided to venture onward. (Hey, I have a Niterider, a Road ID, and invincibility. What could possibly go wrong?)
A few short kilometers down the trail, I discerned a gentle rumble, but it was not thunder. Soon, a low point in the road ahead could be seen covered by running water. This area is normally quite arid and dusty. But not tonight. Evidently, the rain had already begun high in the mountains above me. As I got closer to the flooded part of the road, I noticed piles of rocks with water rushing around them, in a downward fashion. After determining that cross was too risky, I decided to traverse this unexpected season river. Doing so was the greatest reward for the risk of taking this twilight detour. What I found was a breathtaking 100 + foot waterfall. The little stream to gave way to a might flow of water falling over a cliff to the raging river below.
This scene is particularly amazing in light of how dramatic the seasons can be here in the tropics. Half the year, these mountains look like the dry, pine covered mountains of Southern California or perhaps Colorado. But in rainy season, the river bed fill to their brims, the greenery overtakes roads and houses, and you see what one expects to see in the ‘tropics’.
This amazing transformation is what God describes through the prophet Isaiah in chapter 41:17-19. His power, His blessing, and His faithfulness bring forth the rain and the transformation of the barren lands to fertile ground. My reflection for you is to evaluate the season where you find yourself. Is it a dry and dusty time? Or is your spiritual life verdant, green, and abounding in the rivers of joy sent only by Christ?
“The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
Please read Isaiah 41. Look at the fact that it is the Lord alone that chooses whom to bless, and when to do so. He does so to show that He is our help, our hope, and His love is enduring. If you find yourself in a time of drought and not waterfalls, then read the rest of Isaiah! Praise God that He longs to draw us as His people back into rich fellowship with Himself and turn barren lands into springs of water!