Evening on the Prairie

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

Psalm 27:13
Originally published April 24, 2016

My family and I drove to the Gloss Mountains a few weeks ago. I had never stopped at the conservatory, but had passed it several times. I couldn’t help but notice how desert-like the landscape was as we approached them. The entrance wasn’t hard to find, so we parked and began climbing.

We started up the trail with bottled water in tow. It didn’t take long for the steep ascent and the dry crusty air to make me thirsty. To add grit to dryness(insult to injury), the sides of the mountain were a granuled red dirt that crumbled to dust when touched or disturbed. The sun stared silently from a near-cloudless sky, its orangish gaze evaporating as it went.

At the top, the panorama was as barren as I’d expected. There was little more than a few small cedar trees on the plateau, and the dry grass crumbled and blew away as I walked on it. The wind wailed constantly on the isolated hill, licking away any last traces of moisture from my lips, and my hopes.

It seems that the closer the time comes for the return of Jesus Christ, the more barren it becomes. Schisms in the church reveal a cleft in the foundations that brings only generations worth of fruitlessness. The winds of doctrine, both new and false, bring not the rain of revival, but rather drive it away. The Holy Spirit can do little more with men than constantly reprove them of their unrepentant sins, unable to bless.

Yet we can see so far. The past is an open book to us- millennia of history catalogued with all of its successes and failures. The lessons of the previous ages lift us on their shoulders, and with the steady right arm of interpretation and the left of inspiration hold us up to see the truth of the last days. Prophecies that were nearly forgotten come to pass. Details in the scriptures that before were superfluous, now are illuminous- showing the future.

And yet it is still so dry. I cry with the rest of the saints, “How long?” 

Then darkness begins to fall on Gloss Mountain.

As the sun dips into the hazy horizon, I see two wonders I could not see before. The first is the reflection of a dozen or more lakes scattered throughout the country-side to all directions. Water already there that I could not see! And the second wonder just as amazing: the haze takes shape against the brilliance of the sun, outlining a mighty cumulonimbus- the thunder head. Advancing precipitation! Storms on the way! The rain will come; not as I’d hoped, but it comes nonetheless!

O Christian, can you see the promises in this dry, desolate, darkening world? There are the pools, the one of hope filled by the pilgrims passed by with tears of joy and comforted grief that serve to refresh a thirsty traveller. There, another, dug out in the substance of things not seen to the well of God’s word: faith. There is another, surrounded by the inlets and streams of Christian brotherhood: charity. 

 And what is that coming on the horizon? Sound of abundance of rain! Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him! Perhaps the view from Gloss Mountain in Fairview, Oklahoma will catch a glimpse of His Advent as described in Elisha’s day: “And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood:” 1 Kings 3:22

Things are mighty dry. But He is coming. Find spiritual water to sustain your soul until that Day in God the Holy Spirit, the Holy Bible, and among the holy brethren.

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