This may not seem odd to you, but for those of us who live here, this basin of fresh salt represents a very unusual and unprecedented occurrence. Why is this odd, you may ask? The salt flats in our area dry out and start producing salt in the late dry season (October – November). Typically you will see droves of women coming from miles around to collect it for cooking and for selling. The abnormality here is that we are three months into the typical rainy season. Right now these salt flats should be waist deep in fresh water.
The typical rains of December were weak and sporadic and so we all looked expectantly to January for the big rains to arrive. Soon, January turned into February, then February turned into March, and still, little to no significant rain has fallen. It is so dry that the salt flats have actually dried out again and are yielding a bumper crop of salt. While this is good news for the women who go and collect it, it is sad and foreboding news for gardens of the community.
The staple and hearty crop of manioc, is a bit droopy, but surviving. This cannot be said for the cash crops that have gone into the ground. The rice which is used for ceremonies, parties and as a cash crop is dried up and dying. The peanuts and beans that are an alternate source of protein and also a big source of cash, are dying. No rain means that there are no fresh water tilapia which are usually harvested from the same area. This resource represents a huge source of income and food for the people that is nowhere to be found this year. The outlook isn’t very promising, but our eyes are on the Lord of the drought, not that drought itself.
I (Elin) was reading in Mark 4 where Jesus calms the wind and the waves and it struck me that just as He is the Lord of the wind, waves and storms, so also, He is the Lord of the drought. Both are under His authority and control. While the disciples were in a panic, fighting the wind and waves, Jesus was peacefully sleeping below deck. When the time was right, he arose, spoke and calmed the stormy seas. He offers us this peace as well in the midst of both storms and drought. A peace that knows that we do not walk through them alone, He is with us and at the mere mention of “Peace be still” or in our case “Rains fall!” He is able to overcome the situation. How many storms or droughts have I missed out on the peace that passes understanding, because I was striving with the circumstances instead of resting with the Savior?
Oh that our faith would grow stronger each day and that we would point the people around us to the rest found in the Lord of the Drought.